Cúchulainn’s famous spear, the gáe bolg or “spear of mortal pain,” was made from the bone of a sea monster, Coinchenn, which perished in combat with another leviathan of the deep, Curruid. Some sources have it the other way around, however:
Curruid fell in the furious fight
By the noble, fierce Coinchenn,
Upon the boisterous, proud red sea
On the ridge of the cool and deep abyss.
(-from a poem collected in the early 18th century, cited in On the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Irish, by Eugene Curry, 1873)
When I read about this epic battle of sea monsters, I couldn’t help thinking of the Colossal Squid and its antagonist, the Sperm Whale. The whales are known to prey on squid, while the squid…
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