August 5, 2010

Sea Serpents

Category: Miscellaneous :: Permalink

The other day, I read M. T. Anderson’s The Serpent Came to Gloucester to my daughter, Aletheia.   The book is a lot of fun, but even more fun (for me) was the historical note at the back about the many sea serpent sightings along the New England coast throughout the nineteenth century and particularly between 1817 and 1818.  I appreciated Anderson’s comment on the back flap of the book:

For generations, fishermen took for granted the existence of long, snakelike animals in the North Atlantic.  It takes a peculiar kind of snobbery to believe that men who worked on the sea all their lives — though illiterate — were by nature superstitious, confused, and gullible.

And what were these sea serpents doing?  According to the story, exactly what Psalm 104 says they do: they were playing (Ps. 104:24-26).

Posted by John Barach @ 1:58 pm | Discuss (4)

4 Responses to “Sea Serpents”

  1. Pete Scholtens Says:

    That’s, of course, assuming that leviathan is always serpentine in shape.

  2. John Barach Says:

    Naw. It’s just assuming that Leviathan is SOMETIMES serpentine in shape.

  3. Pete Scholtens Says:

    Have you ever had it where you see something and it looks like a person, you’re sure it’s a person, and then, when you get closer, you realize it’s just a strangely shaped piece of wood?

  4. John Barach Says:

    Sure. But (a) the Bible talks about gigantic sea monsters and (b) I suspect that so many fishermen wouldn’t be as likely to be mistaken as I would and, most importantly, (c) I like the idea that there were sea serpents frolicking in the waters off North America in the 19th century. Don’t you?

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