Sunday, 30 September 2012

Sea Monster Research

Sea Orm

I have decided to choose the Sea Orm because it incorporates many different types of creatures and can appear to look either snake like or worm like. The Sea Orm is from Norwegian mythology and first described by Olaus Magnus in 1555 as a giant sea monster that terrorizes sailors and livestock. Magnus quotes the story of this monster: 'Those who sail up along the coast of Norway to trade or to fish, all tell the remarkable story of how a serpent of fearsome size, 200 feet long and 20 feet wide, resides in rifts and caves outside Bergen. On bright summer nights this serpent leaves the caves to eat calves, lambs and pigs, or it fares out to the sea and feeds on sea nettles, crabs and similar marine animals. It has ell-long hair hanging from its neck, sharp black scales and flaming red eyes. It attacks vessels, grabs and swallows people, as it lifts itself up like a column from the water.' (Magnus, 1555)

The Sea Orm

I believe this sea monster is a mix between sea worms and fish. Magnus mentions the creature has ell-long (about 18 inches) hair hanging from its neck. One limbless animal matches that description which is a polychaete worm, to which it has bristle like appendages that run along from its head to its tail, some even have longer sensory organs on their heads. These bristles aid in movement and in some worms are a form of respiratory system.   

Polychaete Worms

Some species of sea worms can also grow quite large, one that was discovered in a public aquarium measured 4 foot long, a polychaete worm that was destroying coral reef and killing fish. Other sea worms such as ribbon worms can grow to over 100 foot long, but are quite slim only measuring a couple of millimeters in length. Sea worms have a monstrous and creepy appearance with grotesque bodies and viscous jaws. 

4ft Polychaete worm

Ribbon Worms

Another aquatic animal which also fits the description of having ell-long hair is an oarfish. This fish has a dorsal fin that begins on its head with a few high spines and runs the entire length of its body. This is also a giant fish reaching lengths of 56 foot. It has an unusual swimming pattern which not only consists of the normal locomotion of many fish, but it also swims in a completely vertical manner. Similar to the description of lifting itself up like a column of water, but instead of actually rising out of the water it is seen below its surface.   


Many cartilaginous fish have sharp scales such as sharks and rays. One fish, the sturgeon has quite prominent sharp scales running along its body, which could add to the description of being a monster with sharp scales.


Another semi-aquatic creature called a caecilian has a worm like body and creepy appearance. Being an amphibian means it spends its time in damp conditions in the soil, leaf litter and in the water.


Friday, 28 September 2012

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Sea Monster Research

There are four mythical sea monsters that I have found interesting.


Leviathan was a sea monster described in the Bible as being the gate keeper of Hell. It also means whale in modern Hebrew and it can also be described as being a giant fish or sea serpent capable of destroying large ships.

Sea Orm

The Sea Orm is similar to sea serpents only they are not reptilian but more closely resembling giant worm like monsters, to which its alias name also refers to as worm or vurm. Its name is often used in both British and Scandinavian mythology. 


Jormungand also called the Midgard Serpent from Norse Mythology was cast out into the sea by Odin, by which he grew so large it was able to circle the Earth and bite its own tail. The Midgard Serpent would do battle with Thor by which it was defeated and killed only to also kill Thor in the process with its poison.


A European Mythical sea monster which resembles a whale like creature and capable of destroying large boats. Its name is Latin which means Whale.

Out of these monsters I quite like the worm like Sea Orm and the Leviathan.

Research on Carta Marina

The Carta Marina meaning Map of the Sea was created by Olaus Magnus, a Swedish geographer. In 1539 the map was printed in Venice and was made up with 9 separate sheets each measuring 55 x 40 cm. All together the map measured 125cm high by 170 wide. 

 Carta Marina 1st edition by Olaus Magnus

Full view of the Map can be seen here

In 1572 a second edition was printed by Antoine Lafrery 

Full view of the Map can be seen here

The sea monsters in this map are depicted by sailors in stories told on their journeys across the sea, which are of terrible giant beasts attacking ships. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Revised Proposal

I plan to achieve in creating a mythical creature along with its mythical story from studying Carta Marina Maps. This creature will use both its mythological interpretation and logic in creating a believable monster. A fully textured, skinned and rigged model will be created along with its habitat in the form of a cg environment render. The whole purpose is to create a detailed creature and environment for a film.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Rough Proposal Ideas

Proposal 1
Following from my current creature design that I was working on over the summer holidays I could continue with it to create a textured, skinned and rigged model of it. As well as making two environments that will fit the creature’s world, an outdoor and an indoor scene. With corresponding concepts and a cg render of the said environments. I hope to achieve in creating an alien creature and what its world is like for a science fiction film.

Proposal 2
Similar to the first proposal only with a completely new creature design along with its story as well as perhaps one environment design which will include concepts and a cg render of this. Still keeping the outcome of the first proposal the same, to achieve in creating an alien creature and its environment for a science fiction film.