The Leviathan is a biblical demon or monster of the form of a serpent, often symbolizing Satan. According to the legends, some of the first seafarers often encountered this sea creature.
Those who don't believe in the existence of mythical creatures are of the mind that they were most likely talking about an unknown species of shark or whale.
However, their opponents don't tend to accept their reasoning, since people who had spend their entire lives sailing the seas would surely never have confused a shark with a Leviathan.
It's another matter entirely that ancient sailors became shipwrecked from time to time. Then they had no other choice but to drink the seawater, resulting in hallucinations or even a tragic end for the men.
On the other hand, quite plausible stories of fully adequate, down-to-earth eyewitnesses have testified to the existence of the Leviathan.
The Vikings, also called Normans, mention gigantic monsters living in the sea in their ancient writings as well. Whether they were talking about a real monster or just another gigantic cuttlefish, we can only guess.
A few years ago, American scientists found a giant cuttlefish in the Gulf of Mexico. It was caught off the shores of the state of Louisiana. Including its tentacles, the animal reached 19.5 ft (6 m) in length.
A cuttlefish of similar size was also caught off the shores of the US in 1954. The largest animal of this type, 33 ft (10 m) in length, weighing 661 lb (300 kg), is kept taxidermic in the Maritime Museum in Melbourne, Australia.
Such cuttlefish wouldn't be encountered so often, since they live in the most hard-to-reach depths of the ocean, where they can procure enough food.
The cuttlefish is a dangerous predator that feeds mostly on fish and crustaceans. It moves quickly using its tentacles, expelling water from its mantle cavity.
Over short distances, these sea creatures are some of the fastest.
That is why a giant cuttlefish might actually lie behind some of the most fearsome stories of the Leviathan, that had so terrified ancient sailors.