Mythical Creatures As Drawn On Medieval Maps

It’s seems like in maps drawn between the eighth and sixteenth centuries the seas were a giant aquarium of magical, fantastical sea monsters. Chet Van Duzer makes the introductions to all these various leviathans, sirens, mermaids, and sea serpents, In his work – Covering differnt maps that drawn and published in several atlases between the eighth and sixteenth centuries.

Here are some exmples for maps the maps that also drawn by different map drawers –

Click on image to view full sizw

Northwestern portion of 1572 edition of Carta marina, by Olaus Magnus. It has the largest collection of sea monsters on a single sixteenth-century map.

Sea monster known as a “ziphius” eats a seal while being attacked from by another monster, 1572 edition of Carta marina (detail), by Olaus Magnus

Click on image to view full sizw

A siren admires herself in a mirror, a symbol of vanity, near a ship on Pierre Desceliers’s world map of 1550. The styles and colors in which the water is painted beneath the siren and ship are different, suggesting that the siren was painted by a sea monster specialist.

Click on image to view full sizw