Tales of the Caribbean would not exist without the mayhem, myths, monsters, and mystery that has ravaged the tropical sea since man first ventured forth upon its waters.
The Green Flash
Long considered a warning of impending doom, the green flash is a naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs when the sky and horizon are crystal clear. While it commonly occurs over the ocean, the green flash happens over land as well. Seafaring tales of old advise that the green flash can drive a ship to flounder on the shoals.
Giant Squid And Octopus (Kraken)
Terrify tales of monsters of the deep, giant octopus and squid, capable of pulling a ship and her crew under an unforgiving wave; have circulated since man first set sail on the sea. Today, we know that giant squid and octopus are not a figment of vivid imaginations, but they do not reach the reported size of many whalers ship’s writings. Octopus and squid of the Caribbean have been known to grow to a size to capsize a small boat or consume a man-of-war, but they do not display the 200-to-300-foot tentacles of ancient seafaring stories.
Originally Sirens of Greek mythology, tales of mermaids, half human and half aquatic creature, permeate tales of the Caribbean. Though often dismissed as the product of an overly vivid imagination, local mermaid legends sound eerily similar to descriptions of mermaids worldwide. To the unschooled superstitious sailor, Aycayía, as mermaids are known throughout the Caribbean, are said to lure and seduce sailors to their death.
Sea sprites, known as ghosts of the sea are said to be the disembodied sprit or ghost of soul departed, a supernatural being, fairy or goblins said to haunt ships with a troubled past. Slave ships, or ships ruled by a cruel captain believed to be in league with the devil, were considered haunted by their cargo of misery. Some ghosts of the sea are said to haunt spots where ships have sunk. Even today, many sailors steer a wide berth around spots where ships floundered or islands that have experience marooning or mutiny. Pirates offered prayers and blessings for sailors made to walk the plank or left on uninhabited isles in a vain attempt to please the fates and help to bring rest to the soul of the sailor so condemned.
Caribbean seafaring stories are rife with sightings of mystery ghost ships that appear and then disappear in the fog and mist. Throughout the Caribbean, tales of mystery ships with missing crews pepper the written accounts of both ancient and modern mariners. While some of these ships exist in story only, hundreds of antidotal witness statements indicate these ships are indeed real yet unexplained. As tales go, the Black Pearl, a black-sailed pirate ship made famous by the movie Pirates Of The Caribbean, is typical of today’s ghost ship sightings in that the ship is surrounded by silver mist and crewed by undead pirates, forever cursed by the gold stolen from the Chest of Cortez
Over hundreds of years of sailing history, countless ships have been lost at sea when sailing the waters of the Caribbean. While a great many of these lost ships have been located and treasure salvaged, hundreds remain lost at sea. The galleon San Jose, missing for more than 300 years was discovered in November 2015, in a watery grave on the bottom of the Caribbean, just off the coast of Columbia. The massive treasure of gold and silver from South America is estimated to exceed 17 billion US dollars.