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National Library of Norway / Book design


Once upon a time sea monsters were a natural part of maps and natural history narratives. Sailors and fishermen ran the risk of encountering the most nightmarish of monsters among the waves. The many-eyed sea boar terrified seamen in the waters off Iceland, while monsters with luminous eyes wreaked havoc along the Norwegian coastline, and outside Bergen there was a danger of being attacked by a sea serpent that swallowed calves and pigs whole.

The book presents twenty sea monsters found in older maps and literature, each of which is accompanied with a brief text description. The book’s design finds inspiration in elements from historical marine charts, which is particularly evident in the list of contents produced as a chart and in the sketched vignettes provided for each sea monster.