Sailors are renowed for being liars. During the long offshore nights, when their mates sleep and the sea is calm, they have all the time to make up incredible stories about unbelievable things, so that they will be able to impress their “victims” once disembarked. Cinque Terre is a land of many sailors: God knows how many unbelievable stories have been told in the taverns through the narrow streets! There’s a famous story many people love to tell: the story of the “Bay of Poets monster”.
The legend of the monster
Any man living the sea will be able to entertain you with the story of the Cinque Terre Monster.
Some of them would probably tell it with a smile on their face, aware of its fantastic nature. Some others would probably take it more seriously and, with low voice, they will tell you that in the Bay of Poets (Baia dei poeti), inbetween the coves and rocks a scary monster is hiding.
According to the story the monster has many heads and long tentacles, similar to a giant octopus, and haunts the bay, scarying sailors. Just like mythological “Scilla” and “Cariddi”, the monster will only come out of his hide to attack and destroy the ships passing by.
The true story of the monster
This is obviously legend, and most likely the monster belongs to the same fantastic creatures category the “Lockness Monster” belongs to.
However, any fantasy tale has some truth behind: there are people ready to swear the bay monster not only exists, but it has also been seen!
It seems that in 1977, while fishing offshore Cinque Terre, three men saw the sea seething and through the waves a big and weird “being” appeared, with its 5meter long tentacles and an estimated weight of 80kgs.
Could this be possible? Sure! This Cinque Terre monster is most likely not a fantastic creature but a creature belonging to the known species of architeuthis, a giant squid!
Considering that the longest giant squid ever seen measures 18 meters, it is not unlikely that this sea animal has been mistaken for a scary fantastic monster! Even though one may ask “What is the difference between a giant 18 meters squid and a monster?”