Sea Monsters of Olaus Magnus' Carte marina

The Carte marina
Olaus Magnus/©Corbis

Olaus Magnus' Carte marina: Behold the Map of the Sea! This 16th century masterpiece by Swedish priest and cartographer Olaus Magnus is one of the oldest known maps of the Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea. He created the original in Rome in 1539 and today only two copies are known to exist. It's a remarkable map due to its artistic whimsy, the sheer number of sea monsters populating its waters, as well as its possible economic influence. Some historians theorize the monsters in the Norwegian Sea were intended to scare away foreign fishermen.

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.