We were probably wise to settle in this port, because cartographers have been finding monsters to depict on the seas of the world for hundreds of years.
The richly decorated Carta Marina, from 1539 might seem a little crude by today’s standards but modern satellite imaging revealed that the sea monsters shown in parts of the ocean on the map actually correspond to well known storm fronts, dangerous currents and maritime hazards. This was perhaps just a method of depicting this at the time, as a warning to sailors venturing into these areas.
The seas surrounding Iceland also contain many hazards.
Here are some other lovely depictions of the dangers of the ocean.
Some of the monsters are so big that you can actually live on them.
So many of those creatures and the ones of bestiaries of the same period, look as though they were illustrated by someone working from a description. The big fish which blows water through its head is obviously a whale. The kraken really exists.
The sawfish, which can get up to 14 feet in length, seems plenty monstrous to me.
We don't know for an absolute fact that something primeval doesn't live deep deep down in cold water, something that looks like Nessie or the creature being fired upon in the fourth picture.
That first map is really a beauty! Besides the monsters, it includes tons of historical and cultural detail.