Porcus Monstrosus

Alas, the poor walrus. How such a peaceful creature has been depicted throughout history as a terrifying sea creature. Olaus Magnus created 6 versions of the walrus-like creatures. His various sea monsters, including this one called Porcus monstrosus Oceani Germanici; were purely from his imagination. And, yet, the work Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Northern Peoples), from 1555, in which they appeared; is considered a wealth of information on early Scandinavian, particularly Swedish, folklore and history.His

His Pig-Headed Walrus, had a prone body with webbed, fin-like feet and a tusked pig head. His tail was that of a fish and his body was covered in fish scales. A trio of human eyes among the scales probably tells of some further oddity related to this creature but which I did not discover. He has pointed ears and a pair of horns which are followed by a row of spines down his spine. Overall, he is oddly fearsome and cute at the same time.

As you can see this vintage sea monster illustration is wider than it is tall. The full-sized version doesn’t fit on this page well. To view and download the full-sized version, just click on the one shown above.

This illustration was scanned from History of North American pinnipeds : a monograph of the walruses, sea-lions, sea-bears and seals of North America which was published in 1880 and written by Allen, J. A. (Joel Asaph), 1838-1921. However, the original design dates back to 1555.

This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.