Sweden's Legendary Lake Monster

Scotland has the Loch Ness Monster, Lake Champlain in New York/Vermont/Quebec has Champ, and Sweden has its own monster called Storsjöodjuret, which supposedly lives in Lake Storsjön. Accounts of sightings go back over 300 years, of a creature that's estimated to be anywhere from 10 to 42 feet long.

Of the creature in question, the late Mark Chorvinksy said the following: “Fisheries officer Ragnar Björks, 73, was out checking fishing permits on Sweden’s Lake Storsjön when he had the fright of his life. From the placid waters a huge tail suddenly broke the surface near Björk’s 12 foot row boat. The colossal creature attached to the tail appeared to be 18 feet long, grey-brown on top with a yellow underbelly. When Björks was alongside the monster, he struck at it with his oar, hitting it on the back. Angered, the creature slapped the water with its tail and the rowboat was thrown nine to twelve feet into the air. ‘At first I didn’t believe that there was any monster in the Storsjön…but now I am convinced.'”

Some theorize that Storsjöodjuret is an animal that was trapped in the lake during the last ice age around 15,000 years ago. Read some other tales of Storsjöodjuret encounters at Mysterious Universe. -via Strange Company

(Image credit: Andreas Eriksson)

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More tall tales growing taller in the retelling. I Find "Mysterious Universe" website fun reading. However, the authors are not known for checking the veracity of the claims they report. Case in Point: the article states the Frösöstenen (Frösö Runestone) is said to depict the Storsjöodjuret. This runestone commemorates a bridge and the Christianization of Jamtland. The Text reads: "Austmaðr, Guðfastr's son, had this stone raised and this bridge built and Christianized Jämtland. Ásbjörn built the bridge. Trjónn and Steinn carved these runes." No mention of a monster. And having the text written on the image of a snake or dragon was a common artistic motif in what is known as the Jellinge Style--a phase of Scandinavian animal art during the 10th century which is characterized by markedly stylized and often band-shaped bodies of animals.
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