Monsters of the deep

Sea monsters. Not too far off the mark this engraving, from 1621, had the right idea of what was really lurking beneath the world’s oceans. ANMM Collection <a href="http://collections.anmm.gov.au/objects/29824/engraving-depicting-saint-brendan-saying-mass-on-the-back-of?ctx=d19a5c20-8539-4f29-a049-977fb903bcd9&idx=0">00019658</a>.

Sea monsters. Not too far off the mark this engraving, from 1621, had the right idea of what was really lurking beneath the world’s oceans. ANMM Collection 00019658.

What is lurking in the water?

Living life as an adult means shedding many childhood ‘truths’. Christmas elves, Easter bunnies and the tooth fairy don’t stand up to hard questioning, so our belief in them falls away. We lose our concept of another world filled with wonder and mystery as every phenomenon is explained by science instead. But, for some reason, this logic does not apply to the things that scare us…

No, horror stories hang around so much longer. The terror of ghosts, creeping creatures of the night and otherworldly happenings can last into adulthood. Even if it’s just a shiver down your spine before logic returns to its guard post.

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Monsters of the deep: Tall tales of the high seas

St Brendan saying mass on the back of a sea monster, 1621. ANMM Collection 00019658.

St Brendan saying mass on the back of a sea monster, 1621. ANMM Collection 00019658.

Whilst Halloween slowly approaches, its pretence of horror and worn out ghoulish clichés appear again. Pumpkins and cobwebs adorn houses and plastic skeletons dance limply off front fences. No doubt witches and vampires have their earned their scary credentials but the forced spookiness of the season only makes it feel like a poor cousin to where real horror exists. Offshore.

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