The Kraken is a sea monster of giant size that is said to dwell off the coasts of Norway andGreenland. A number of authors over the years have postulated that the legend originated from sightings of giant squids that may grow to 12–15 meters (40–50 feet) in length, despite the fact that the creature in the original tales was not described as having tentacles and more closely resembled a whale or crab. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the kraken have made it a common ocean-dwelling monster in various fictional works.In 1802, the French malacologist Pierre Dénys de Montfort recognized the existence of two kinds of giant octopus in Histoire Naturelle Générale et Particulière des Mollusques, an encyclopedic description of mollusks. Montfort claimed that the first type, the kraken octopus, had been described by Norwegian sailors and American whalers, as well as ancient writers such as Pliny the Elder. The much larger second type, the colossal octopus, was reported to have attacked a sailing vessel from Saint-Malo, off the coast of Angola.