Types of Leviathans: Exploring Legendary Sea Monsters

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In myths and pop culture, leviathans are massive creatures of the deep. Their stories come from ancient books and modern video games alike. I often find them mentioned in religious texts like the Tanakh, where a leviathan refers to a large, sea monster.

But there’s more to leviathans than just old tales. In video games like Subnautica, they’re huge and often scary aliens below the ocean’s surface. Each type of leviathan in the game has unique traits, like size and habitat, making the game’s underwater world diverse and interesting.

Even in Monster Hunter, a different gaming series, leviathans are important. They might not be as gigantic as those in Subnautica, but they’re tough beasts. They range from big, land-walking fish to elegant, water-dwelling dragons. All are waiting for skilled hunters to challenge them.

Biblical Leviathans

In my exploration of scriptural sea monsters, I’ve found that Biblical leviathans are quite fascinating. Let me dive into the specifics of the Old Testament’s depiction of the Leviathan.

Leviathan of the Old Testament

Leviathan in the Old Testament primarily represents a gigantic sea creature. This creature pops up in various books, but let’s focus on Psalms, where it makes a memorable appearance. I’ve learned that Psalms 74:14 refers to Leviathan with multiple heads, portraying it as a creature defeated by God.

Besides the sheer scale and might, the Leviathan is also associated with the idea of a demon. It’s often a symbol of evil in Biblical texts, embodying chaos and opposing the divine order. This serpent-like demon isn’t just your everyday sea monster; it’s got layers of meaning wrapped in its scaly figure, symbolizing adversarial forces that are eventually overpowered by divine might.

By blending physical descriptions with spiritual symbolism, the Old Testament’s Leviathan goes beyond just a tale of a sea monster. It stands as a testament to the power struggle between cosmic order and chaos. Now, isn’t that an interesting piece of ancient literature?

Middle Eastern Mythology

In Middle Eastern lore, immense creatures often symbolized chaos and natural disasters. I’ll focus on a notable sea monster from Ugaritic mythology.

Lotan (Ugaritic Mythology)

Lotan was described as a fearsome sea serpent or dragon. Myths say that this creature had seven heads and was a servant of the sea god Yammu. I understand that scholars compare Lotan to the biblical Leviathan, noting their similarities in being massive, sea-dwelling beasts. Lotan’s defeat was key in myth, representing the triumph of order over chaos.

Norse Mythology

In Norse legends, I find the tales of sea serpents particularly enthralling. One beast stands out above the rest in these sagas.

Jörmungandr (Midgard Serpent)

I’ve always been fascinated by Jörmungandr, the Midgard Serpent. It’s said to be so huge that it encircles the Earth, gripping its own tail. As a child of Loki, it’s a key player in the Norse end-of-the-world saga, Ragnarok. According to the myth, its epic battle with Thor, the thunder god, will shake the very foundations of the cosmos.

Welsh Mythology

In Welsh legends, leviathans aren’t just sea monsters; they have their unique stories. Let’s dive into one famous mythological creature from Wales.

The Afanc

The Afanc is a beast that lurks in Welsh waters. I want to share that it’s often described as part crocodile, part beaver, different from the serpent-like leviathans you might know. One thing’s for sure, its mood is as murky as the lakes it calls home. It’s said that the Afanc uses its strong tail to cause floods, ruining towns and fields. Even in the old tales, capturing an Afanc wasn’t easy. Only with magic, trickery, and the might of oxen did heroes manage to move it from one lake to another, calming its wrath for a while.

Medieval & Renaissance Mythology

I’ve got some intriguing tales about Leviathans for you. Specifically, I’ll tell you about a particular take on this creature from a political philosopher named Thomas Hobbes.

The Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes

Imagine living in a time where chaos reigns, and life is a free-for-all. This is the world that Thomas Hobbes describes. For him, the Leviathan isn’t just a sea beast; it symbolizes an all-powerful ruler who could reign in the pandemonium of human life. Through his book titled “Leviathan,” published in 1651, Hobbes captures the necessity for strong, centralized authority. He paints a picture of society without it being a sea of turmoil, much like the untamed oceans the mythical Leviathan would roam. Hobbes’s Leviathan isn’t feared for its scales or breath but for its capacity to impose order on human nature’s tumultuous waves.

Modern Fiction

In modern storytelling, leviathans have splashed from ancient texts into the expansive oceans of fantasy literature and games. I’ve seen them morph into sea dragons, immense serpents, or even colossal aquatic monsters.

Cthulhu Mythos Leviathans

H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos introduced me to leviathans that defy imagination. These creatures often embody the terror of the unknown, lurking in the depths of the cosmic sea. For example, Cthulhu itself, while not typically described as a leviathan, shares similar traits of immense power and size, inciting fear and madness in those who witness its form.

Leviathans in Dungeons & Dragons

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) serves up its own brand of leviathans. They’re beasts of legend and fear, each with unique abilities and lore. In D&D, the Kraken stands out as a formidable leviathan. With its massive tentacles and fearsome intelligence, it’s a true challenge for even the bravest adventurers.

Popular Culture

Leviathans have made a splash in popular culture, especially within the realms of TV and video games. Let me take you through two iconic appearances that have captivated audiences.

Leviathans in Supernatural (TV Series)

In the hit TV series Supernatural, I caught a glimpse of leviathans as ancient, powerful monsters. They emerged from Purgatory in Season 7, proving to be one of the most formidable foes the Winchester brothers have ever faced. Their story is fascinating – they once ruled the Earth before prehistoric times and are impervious to most forms of harm, making them terrifying adversaries.

Leviathans in Mass Effect (Video Game)

Mass Effect’s leviathans aren’t your typical sea creatures either. They’re an ancient aquatic species with powerful telepathic abilities that can dominate the minds of other beings. In the video game, I’ve seen them lurking in the deep, untouchable by most, and their intelligence is unparalleled. They play a pivotal role in the game’s lore, providing insight into the history of the galaxy’s most menacing threat, the Reapers.

Anime and Manga

Leviathans splash onto the scene in various anime and manga, bringing colossal power and mystery. They often symbolize immense obstacles or dark forces the characters must confront.

Leviathan in Attack on Titan

In “Attack on Titan,” I think the leviathans aren’t traditional sea monsters but the Titans themselves parallel the concept. Their giant size and destructive nature make them a fitting representation. Watching Eren and the Scouts battle these behemoths is like seeing leviathans in action!

Leviathan in Blue Submarine No. 6

The anime “Blue Submarine No. 6” showcases an actual aquatic leviathan. These sea creatures are central to the story’s conflict, where humans and sea denizens clash. It’s exciting to see the Blue Sub crew navigate through the underwater chaos caused by these leviathans.

Leviathan in Fairy Tail

Lastly, “Fairy Tail” features a reference to a leviathan during the Grand Magic Games arc. It’s used to describe the monstrous power levels of the competing wizards. It’s pretty cool to see them unleash magic that rivals the might of legendary beasts.

Video Games

In my gaming adventures, I’ve encountered many leviathans across various worlds. These creatures often play monumental roles, from fearsome bosses to integral parts of the story.

Leviathans in Final Fantasy Series

In the Final Fantasy universe, Leviathans are often depicted as powerful sea serpents or dragons, summoned to aid players in battle. They harness the power of water, unleashing tidal waves on foes. Each game in the series adds a new twist to their appearance and abilities, staying true to their grand and mystical nature.

Leviathans in Subnautica

“Subnautica” brings leviathans to life as colossal underwater creatures. The game features several types, like the Reaper Leviathan, which haunts the Crash Zone with its terrifying roar. Ghost Leviathans look like translucent, bioluminescent specters, and the Sea Emperor Leviathan is super huge and surprisingly wise. Players can feel the ground shake as the Sea Dragon Leviathan strolls through the Inactive Lava Zone. Not all are hostile; the Reefback Leviathan is a gentle giant, floating like an underwater island covered in flora.

  • Defensive Species: The Sea Treader is unique, responding aggressively only if you block its path.
  • Predatory Giants: Hunting in the dark biomes, like the Blood Kelp Zone and the Dunes, are creatures like the Shadow Leviathan, which bring a new level of dread to exploring.
  • Peaceful Giants: The Ghost Whale in “Subnautica: Below Zero” proves that not all leviathans pose a threat, offering a serene sight in the chilly waters.

Leviathans in the God of War Series

The “God of War” series, renowned for its epic battles against mythological beings, often pits me against leviathans inspired by Norse mythology. These aren’t typical underwater leviathans; they’re more like mythical sea monsters. They amplify the game’s intensity with their gigantic size and power, making each encounter a memorable battle of strength and wits.


In exploring the literary seas, I’ve sailed into two remarkable stories where leviathans take center stage. They bring to life the mythic sea monsters in unique, unforgettable ways.

Leviathans in the Leviathan Series by Scott Westerfeld

In Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series, these creatures are not your typical sea monsters. I’m amazed by the steampunk world Westerfeld creates, featuring living airships that take the shape of massive whales soaring through the sky. These leviathans are genetically-engineered marvels, a blend of machine and beast, crucial to the war effort in an alternate version of World War I.

Leviathans in the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

Christopher Paolini brings a different angle to leviathans in his Inheritance Cycle. I find it intriguing how these leviathans are dragons of the depths, residing in the waters rather than the skies. Living in the sea of Alagaësia, they add a layer of depth and mystery to the world’s mythology, even as they lurk unseen in the novels. These leviathans embody the might and terror of the deep, resonating with the classic imagery of the monster beneath the waves.

Mythological & Folkloric Leviathans

When I think of mythological sea creatures, the Leviathan immediately comes to mind. It’s a massive sea serpent mentioned in various religious texts, especially in Jewish mythology. This beast makes appearances as a symbol of chaos and is often said to be so enormous that only a divine power can defeat it.

The Leviathan isn’t just a one-note creature, though. In some stories, I’ve found that it has multiple heads, which sounds pretty intimidating. Now, dragons often get lumped together with Leviathans because they’re both big and scary, but dragons are more like fire-breathing reptiles that can fly, while Leviathans stick to the sea.

But wait, there’s more! There’s also the Sea Treader, which isn’t a specific monster but seems like it could be another name for creatures that stomp around the ocean floor, shaking things up.

  • Ghost Leviathan: This name brings to mind spooky sea tales, and it’s easy to imagine ghostly sea serpents haunting the deep.
  • Monsters of Myth: Often, Leviathans are grouped with other mythical monsters, each with its own terrifying traits and legendary battles.

In mythology, the Leviathan is a beast of such power that it makes the ocean’s vastness seem like a pond. It’s a reminder of just how wild and unknown the deep blue sea can be. Kind of makes my swimming pool seem pretty tame in comparison, right?

Frequently Asked Questions

In the world of Subnautica, Leviathans are the titans of the deep. Let’s dive right into some common inquiries about these colossal creatures!

What are the different Leviathan class creatures in Subnautica?

In Subnautica, you’ll find several Leviathans, each one unique. There’s the imposing Reaper Leviathan, the serene Reefback, and the enigmatic Ghost Leviathan, among others.

What is the largest Leviathan in the Subnautica series?

The Sea Dragon Leviathan is the largest of the Leviathans in Subnautica, an imposing figure in the deep, known for its sheer size and power.

Which Leviathan species is the most aggressive in Subnautica?

The Reaper Leviathan is notorious for its aggression. I’d say it’s the most formidable predator you’ll encounter, and it shows no hesitation in attacking.

How does the Sea Emperor Leviathan differ from other Leviathans in Subnautica?

The Sea Emperor Leviathan stands out with its wisdom and unique role in the game’s story. It’s much less aggressive and plays a crucial part in the ecological balance of the game’s world.

Can you list all the Leviathans found in Subnautica: Below Zero?

Subnautica: Below Zero introduces new Leviathans, including the Chelicerate, the Shadow Leviathan, and the Ice Worm. It’s a chilling lineup in the frigid waters!

What are the characteristics of the Shadow Leviathan in Subnautica?

The Shadow Leviathan is sleek and formidable, with bioluminescent features that make it a haunting sight in the dark depths where it lurks. It’s as beautiful as it is dangerous.