According to the tradition of the Physiologus and medieval bestiaries, the aspidochelone is a fabled sea creature. It is described as a large whale or vast sea turtle, and a giant sea monster with huge spines on the ridge of its back.
No matter what form it is, it is always described as being huge where it is often mistaken for an island and appears to be rocky with crevices and valleys with trees and greenery and having sand dunes all over it.
The name aspidochelone appears to be a compound word combining Greek aspis (which means either “asp” or “shield”), and chelone, the turtle. It rises to the surface from the depths of the sea, and entices unwitting sailors with its island appearance to make landfall on its huge shell
It is then able to pull them under the ocean, ship and all the people, drowning them. It also emits a sweet smell that lures fish into its trap where it then devours them.
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