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▶ Sea Monk

The Sea Monk was a sea monster found off the coast of Denmark, most notably in 1546. It was said to be a “fish” that looked superficially like a monk (Historian William M. Johnson has noted that the sea monk bears a striking resemblance to Saint Francis of Assisi).

According to Conrad Gesner, a sea monk was caught off Norway in a troubled sea, and one was found in the Firth of Fourth. In Stow’s ‘Annales’, he describes the capture of one such creature: "A.D. 1187. Neere unto Orforde in Suffolke, certaine Fishers of the sea tooke in their nettes a Fish having the shape of a man in all pointes, which Fish was kept by Barlemew de Glanville, Custos of the castle of Orforde, in the same castle, by the space of six monthes, and more, for a wonder: He spake not a word. All manner of meates he gladly did eate, but more greedilie raw fishe, after he had crushed out all the moisture. Oftentimes he was brought to the Church where he showed no tokens of adoration. At length, when he was not well looked to, he stale away to the sea and never after appeared.