Sea Monsters: A Voyage Around the World’s Most Beguiling Map

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If you’re looking for the Holy Grail of sea monster lore, look no further than the Carta Marina, Olaus Magnus’s masterpiece from sixteenth-century Scandinavia. Charting both land and sea, Olaus mixed and matched monster sightings with accurate geographical data to produce both a stunning bestiary and a valuable tool for sailors. And now, Joseph Nigg takes the reader on a tour of Olaus’s map to explore the numerous mythical beasts that inhabit the waters of the Carta Marina.

Sea Monsters examines the Carta Marina in wondrous detail, providing expansive, full-color looks at Olaus’s renderings of various creatures. These images allow the reader to marvel at the total weirdness of the endeavor while exploring the roots of each myth and pinpointing the possible real-world animals that might have inspired belief in these legendary beasts.

Complete with a cover that folds out into a replica of the Carta Marina, Sea Monsters is a love letter to both cryptozoology and cartography, celebrating a time in mapmaking when these monsters didn’t simply serve as warnings for sailors of dangerous waters, but actually chronicled the potential beasts a sailor might encounter. It’s rare that science and whimsy collide with such beauty and style these days.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 168 pages
Publisher University of Chicago Press
Publish Date 2013-Aug-22
ISBN 9780226925165 Buy this Book
Issue May 2014
Category History


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