trying to find THE most brutal whale picture
January 19, 2008 4:08 PM   Subscribe

I've been trying to find a really brutal picture/print/woodcutting of an old-school whale/sea monster for awhile, as a potential tattoo. You know the kind, double blowholes that look more like horns, fangs, the kinds you see in the corners of old maps. Bibliodyssey has some ok ones, but I'm looking for the perfect one, because I know if I settle for another, I'll just find the perfect one the second I've permanently inked myself with a mediocre monster. Any ideas of where I could look?
posted by domakesaypat to Science & Nature (17 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
In this situation you really can't go wrong with a kraken. Or, in the French mode, COLOSSAL OCTOPUS!

You may think you want explicit fangs and suckers and blowholes, but have you also considered whether you want to ever sleep soundly again?
posted by naomi at 4:32 PM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

I remember seeing some really good monsters in Mercator's original projection, the "Nova et Aucta Orbis Terrae Descriptio ad Usum Navigatium Emendate", but you can't quite see them in the picture. The map is in the Chicago Field Museum right now.
posted by thrako at 4:37 PM on January 19, 2008

There are lots of blogs that specialize in antique maps, as well as a lot of online antique map and cartography sites (many based from universities) - remembering that a lot (but not all) of these monsters ("cartographic motifs") will be on marine charts, not maps per se - that may help in searching. If you haven't browsed/googled those, then that's a good place to start, of course.

Munster's "Map of Sea Monsters"

sea monsters on postage stamps

metafilter posts tagged with cartography and with maps.
posted by Rumple at 4:44 PM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Also: current AMNH exhibit. This book looks awesome: check out the bottom right fanged guy. This map also looks great.
posted by Rumple at 4:48 PM on January 19, 2008

Higher resolution of that last map, of Iceland.
posted by Rumple at 4:53 PM on January 19, 2008

This one is pretty cool (two spouts, some claws and spikes, quite angry.)

This one is more like a "sea lion".

This one's in color!

This is just a head/mask, but it's pretty badass.

I like them all...what a good idea for a tattoo.
posted by nekton at 5:52 PM on January 19, 2008

I may be way off base, but you might want to check out the engravings & drawings of Barry Moser or Leonard Baskin - particularly, Moser who did illustrations for both the Odyssey and Moby Dick -- Really beautiful stuff. I couldn't really find anything online for either book, but you might want to check them out in a book store.
posted by nnk at 5:57 PM on January 19, 2008

I suggest taking a look at the sea monsters depicted on Olaus Magnus's 1539 Carta Marina (a map of Scandinavia and adjacent lands and seas). Wikimedia has a good high-resolution image.
posted by brianogilvie at 6:13 PM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Sea Monsters at Monster Brains. If it was me, I would drop a line to one of the cartography sales sites (eg.
posted by peacay at 6:48 PM on January 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

Bad Day on the High Sea
posted by funkbrain at 11:31 PM on January 19, 2008 [2 favorites]

How do you feel about Tony Millionaire whales? Here and another and then there's this thing...
posted by moonmilk at 12:00 AM on January 20, 2008

Sorry, it looks like my image links didn't work. Try this and this and then there's this thing. (and maybe these will inspire you.)
posted by moonmilk at 9:06 AM on January 20, 2008

Bad Day on the High Sea was actually my desktop background for a couple years, nothing could be more epic. That would require a full back tattoo though, I'm looking for something a little more arm or chest appropriate. At the end of the day though, even if I don't find the whale monster of my dreams, this question was a victory if only because I, and hopefully many other people, got to see that mind-blowing image one more time. It might even have to become my desktop again.
posted by domakesaypat at 12:47 PM on January 20, 2008

This Mastodon album. Awesome band, by the way.
posted by kpmcguire at 9:50 PM on January 20, 2008

I have a couple in some books at home, I'll post them up here later.
posted by mikepop at 6:10 AM on January 21, 2008

Awesome band, by the way.

Heh...Mastadon. [Derail.]
posted by humannaire at 12:35 AM on January 22, 2008

Here's one - I think you could have the tattoo artist adapt it to be a bit more brutal but I like the basic design. If you want a better picture of it, let me know.
posted by mikepop at 5:18 AM on January 24, 2008

« Older Can a person taking a break from college get...   |   Standalone NAS recommendations? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.