How could you kill a kraken with medieval technology?

This kraken has a regular squid body/tentacles, but it has some lobster parts too. It has two lobster claws and lots of legs. Also, my kraken has ten huge twenty-foot long snakes coming out along its head.

The kraken is about a thousand (1,000) feet long from the tips of its tentacles to the ends of its snake heads, which extend a bit longer than its head.

  • $\begingroup$ That's a LOT of poison, given the size. Additionally, how do you get the poison into it. If you just dump it in the ocean most of it won't get to the kraken, and you'll also be killing a LOT of fish. $\endgroup$
    – Foxy
    Jun 2, 2017 at 0:56
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ don't need much poison, cyanide some bait, a horse or something. catapult it in the krakens direction $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    Jun 2, 2017 at 1:10
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding, Foxy, this is an interesting question. Can you please clarify your description of the kraken. Presently it's a confusing mix of squid, lobster and snaky appendages for example,are they the tips of its tentacles or are separate? $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Jun 2, 2017 at 2:41
  • $\begingroup$ The poor thing is a mutant and will soon die horribly and painfully. Why bother it more than you have to? $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Jun 2, 2017 at 7:17
  • $\begingroup$ Want to kill a Terrorsquid ? Thunderous volleys of the 32-pounder guns strike the beast, as our vessel moves in for the killing blow. From the bow of the ship, the great harpoon is fired, impaling through the monster's cursed eye ! With a final scream of terror, Leviathan rears up in defeat, and is vanquished for all eternity ! $\endgroup$
    – Keelhaul
    Jun 2, 2017 at 8:26

5 Answers 5


This animal is a LOT more dangerous than a whale and a whale could destroy any medieval ship if it was smart enough to attack instead of try and run. From the sounds of your kraken it could tear ships to pieces.

Harpoons are not going to work, this isn't a whale, unless you get a lucky hit this thing outranges your harpooners, harpoons are heavy weapons that can't be thrown very far and your kraken has ten snake heads with the same range and can attack from multiple directions.

Use poisoned bait, fill horse corpses with poison and catapult them in the vicinity of the kraken, or whatever else it has a taste for. Then stay away from it until it's dead.


So, you are supreme ruler and have plenty of resources as well as large and skilled army and navy, and you've decided you want the kraken dead. What is your budget? Various groups of "natives" have hunted whales and other large animals in water for a LONG time, not to mention land. Sure your kraken is massively bigger, so you just need more bodies working on it.

Think about whaling - harpoon the whale, drag around and control with ropes to put it in a position to be slaughtered.

Do this close to shore. Lots of barbed rods, attached to strong but handle-able rope or chain. Get them into said kraken at multiple points all at once, the more the better - row-by harpooning from multiple ships, massive cross bow, whatever you have that can launch. Pass lines to teams of horses, oxen, bewilderbeasts, whatever you have that can pull. Get that sucker beached, add plenty of lamp oil and you can serve calamari bbq style.


Lots and lots of Warships

Assuming the Kraken will be fought at sea (which it naturally is), then there aren't really much freedom of what weapons to choose from. I tried looking for the strongest weapons in medieval technology and I think there's nothing else stronger than siege weapons.

But what's stopping people from mounting siege weapons to warships? You did not specify a limitation to your question, and the technological advancement isn't that much in the middle-ages. Then why not fight fire with fire if it's the only way?

If your resources permit it, I guess 200+ warships at a safe distance could do it.

I don't know much about ballistics, and I don't know what would be considered as a safe distance since your kraken seems to have very long appendages. I think you should solve that problem next if you see some light from my answer.

...or you could kill it from its insides™ like every movie cliche does. just kidding



First, I must say that killing the squid on the surface of the water is unlikely due to the sheer size of the squid. However, if you repeatedly injure it, it will either die, decide not to bother you, or have to wait to heal before striking again.

The Cliff

Find a cliff facing the sea. Now use boats and ranged weapons to lure the squid over. Now shoot at it from the cliff, attracting it to come as close as possible to the cliff. Now light the fuse and toss the barrel over. Repeat.

The Ship

Requires some sailors to sacrifice themselves. Load a ship with explosives. Now get the ship as close as possible to the squid, and set it off. Might not kill the kraken, but will injure it.

The Fish Pile

Go back to the cliff setup, but dump fish into its mouth. Hopefully it keeps its mouth open long enough for you to throw explosives, or whatever you want to throw at it, at it.

The Large Spiky Ball

Cliff setup, but spiky rocks as well as explosives. These will puncture the creature's skin. A lot.

If you're at war with another coastal nation...

Use your ships to lure the squid over to the opposing country and their ships. Now it's not your problem anymore.

  • $\begingroup$ As long as none of that stuff is purchased from ACME corporation. $\endgroup$
    – Spencer
    Jun 19, 2017 at 20:07

You should get a lot of huge and most importantly FLAT boats. Then load them with huge Bombards, Trebuchets, Catapults. also get a few turtle ships armed with spikes and crossbows near the monster, they might die through. Also, get some floating towers topped with the biggest crossbows you have. It might work if the creature stays on the surface BUT if it goes down to deep water and hides or attacks from under you might be screwed. A few ways to pervert this is to have spikes on the bottoms of ships and get heavy spiked stones to throw at it if it goes under.


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