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Woodcut of a hideous figure of a Sea Devil from Des Monstres et prodiges by Ambroise Para, 1573. Des Monstres is filled with unsubstantiated accounts of sea devils, marine sows, and monstrous animals with human faces. With its extensive discussion of reproduction and illustrations of birth defects, the book invited accusations of pornography. In Greek mythology ichthyocentaurs (or ikhthyokentauroi) were a pair of centaurine sea-gods with the upper body of a man, the lower front of a horse, the tail of a fish and they wore lobster-claw horns. Sea monsters are sea-dwelling mythical or legendary creatures, often believed to be of immense size. Marine monsters can take many forms, including sea dragons, sea serpents, or multi-armed beasts. They can be slimy or scaly and are often pictured threatening ships or spouting jets of water.
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