Kraken photo courtesy of

215 million years ago, a 100-foot long sea monster was believed to be ruler of the seas. On Monday, paleontologist Mark McMenamin of Mount Holyoke College claims he has discovered its lair in the Nevada desert.

McMenamin's exact hypothesis goes like this. Ichthyosaurs were top predators in this period, but since discovery of their fossils in 1926, no one has been able to explain the pile of remains. More specifically, the arrangement of that pile puzzled scientists as to why they appeared to have perished back to back. When McMenamin visited the site this summer, it dawned on him that this systematic arrangement of bones must have been the work of none other than the Kraken, which he believes to be a 30-meter long colossal squid.

He claims that the specific arrangement at the site may be the Kraken's attempt at a self-portrait. Furthermore, McMenamin claims that there are broken ribs in the ichthyosaurs fossils, supporting his theory that Kraken attacks probably killed them. But, of course, the Kraken leaves behind no traces or fossilization to confirm this hypothesis.

Science fiction or scientific fact? McMenamin may provide a compelling case, or he may be an excellent storyteller. You decide.