Creature_Name = Storsjöodjuret
Image_Caption = "The Great Lake Monster"
AKA = "Hydogiganta Monstruidae Jemtlandicum",
Habitat = Water
First_Reported = 1635
Status = Local legend
Storsjöodjuret (pron. IPA|/ˈstuːˌʂøːuˈjʉːrɛ/, literally "The Great Lake Monster") is a
lake monsterreported to live in the 300-foot deep lake Storsjönin Jämtland, central Sweden.
It is popularly referred to as Storsjöodjuret whereas "odjur" is a Swedish word for "monster", literally "unanimal", a name first recorded in 1899. Sometimes it's simply called "Storsjödjuret", which translates to "great lake animal" instead of unanimal.
In the local dialect, Jamtish, it has been named "Storgläffs'n" "the great yelper" by a locally known poet, this is however not a popularly used name. In the
English languageStorsjöodjuret is usually called "Storsie", similarly to " Nessie", though the names "Storsjö Monster" (also spelled "Storsjoe" where the character öis unavailable) and the literal translation "The Great Lake Monster" are used. Its latinname is "Hydogiganta Monstruidae Jemtlandicum" [cite web |title=Visste ni detta om Östersund? |url=http://www.turist.ostersund.se/parser.php?did=55:1080 |accessdate=2008-06-29 |publisher=Östersund Tourist- & Conference Office |language=Swedish] roughly meaning "The Gigantic Jamtish Water Monster". It has also been called "Storsjöormen" "The Great Lake Serpent" [Westin, L O (1917). "Storsjöormen" in Erik Festin: "Jämten 1919" (in Swedish). Östersund, 69.] .
Storsjöodjuret is described as a serpentine or aquatic
reptilewith fins across its back and the head of a dog. It is reported to measure approximately six meters long, and some accounts describe it as having several humps.
The first description of a sea creature in Storsjön was made in a folklorist tale by
vicarMorgens Pedersen in 1635.
"A long, long time ago two trolls, Jata and Kata, stood on the shores of the Great Lake brewing a concoction in their cauldrons. They brewed and mixed and added to the liquid for days and weeks and years. They knew not what would result from their brew but they wondered about it a great deal. One evening there was heard a strange sound from one of their cauldrons. There was a wailing, a groaning and a crying, then suddenly came a loud bang. A strange animal with a black serpentine body and a cat-like head jumped out of the cauldron and disappeared into the lake. The monster enjoyed living in the lake, grew unbelievably larger and awakened terror among the people whenever it appeared. Finally, it extended all the way round the island of Frösön, and could even bite its own tail. Ketil Runske bound the mighty monster with a strong spell which was carved on a stone and raised on the island of Frösön. The serpent was pictured on the stone. Thus was the spell to be tied till the day someone came who could read and understand the inscription on the stone." [cite web |url=http://www1.webpublish.se/storsjoodjuret_en/jata_and_kata~15.php |title=Jata and Kata |accessdate=2008-06-29 |publisher=Storsjoodjuret.com ]
Another legend was written down by the prolocutor Andreas Plantin in an
"It is said that beneath this [rune] stone lies a dreadfully large head of a serpent and that the body stretches over Storsjön to Knytta by and Hille Sand where the tail is buried. The serpent was called a
råand therefore shall this stone be risen. Since no one peacefully could cross [Storsjön] , the ferryman and his wife states, along with many others, that in the last turbulent time this stone was tore down and broken in two. As long as this stone laid on the ground many strange things occurred in the water, until the stone was risen and assembled anew." [Sundberg, Jan-Ove (1995). "Storsjöodjuret, Seljordsormen, Nessie och andra sjömonster" (in Swedish). Södertälje: Larsons Förlag, 17.]
The runestone both texts refer to is the
Frösö Runestone, the most northerly runestone in Europe. However while a large serpent is indeed pictured on the stone there is no reference about it nor "Ketil Runske" in the text itself, which instead tells about Austmaðr, Guðfastr's son's christening of Jämtland. Though it has indeed been broken in two pieces.
Common interest in the creature was sparked first in the 1890s. After several sightings, an enterprise of locals was founded to catch the monster, even drawing the support from king Oscar II. Since then hundreds of monster sightings have been made. No scientific results have been made, but the supporters have never lost their faith.
In August 2008 a group of filmers claimed to have capured storsjöodjuret on film. The cameras showed red so it it was something warm that was filmed. [ [http://www.svd.se/nyheter/inrikes/artikel_1628267.svd SvD: Storsjöodjuret fångat på film] ] [http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080829/od_afp/swedenanimallegendoffbeat;_ylt=At41tp_76BIs3Ookin4rsXeek3QF "Sweden's Loch Ness monster possibly caught on camera"] ,
Agence France-Presse, August 29, 2008.]
1986, the Jämtland county administrative board declared the Storsjöodjuret to be an endangered speciesand granted it protected status. However, it was removed from the list in November 2005.
* [http://www.storsjoodjuret.com Official page of Storsjöodjuret] In Swedish, English, German
* [http://www.gust.st GUST Global Underwater Search Team] In Swedish and English
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