|First Sighting||1st century|
|Last Sighting||13th century|
|Country||Current-day Italy, Croatia and Greece|
Mora or Echeneis is a tiny fish which is six inches long that was mentioned in medieval bestiaries. Despite its small size, the creature had the ability to stop a boat in its tracks when it attached itself to the hull. This is only possible because the Mora had a sucker located on its head. It lived in the polar seas and could freeze air with its breath. These beasts caused the Roman general Mark Anthony to lose a navy battle when the creature caught hold of their ships, immobilizing them. In order to remove the Mora from the ship, sailors commonly scraped it against a nearby rock. The Mora's description suggests that the creature could have easily had a relationship with the real, current-day fish known as the remora, which it was also known as at the time. The remora is known for clinging onto other, much bigger water animals such as sharks. The beast was also mentioned in a book, Historia Naturalis, by Pliny the Elder in 77 CE:
“The echeneis is a small fish that is often found on rocks. It has the ability to slow the passage of ships by clinging to their hulls. It is also the source of a love-charm and a spell to slow litigation in courts, and can be used to stop fluxes of the womb in pregnant women and to hold back the birth until the proper time. This fish is not eaten. Some say this fish has feet; Aristotle says it does not, but that its limbs resemble wings.”
It is thought that these ancient descriptions refer to the remora.
Apart from "Mora" and "Echeneis", this creature is also known as the Echinius, Echinus, Enchirius, Essinus, Esynus , Remora, and Urchin.
|"Theoretical speculation is futile unless it is supported by quantitative evidence."|