Sunday 12 May 2013

Storsjoodjuret in Lake Storsjon


Is there a Storsjoodjuret? Despite more than 260 observations over the years, it has never been able to prove that the monster exists. Or that it does not ...
That a beast was in the Great Lake is mentioned in written sources as early as the 1600s.
figure above shows how the painter Harald Millgård experienced an encounter with the beast 1935. Jamtli has Storsjöodjuret own exhibition. Here you can listen to people who tell of their encounter with the beast. You can familiarize yourself with the company in 1894, was formed in Östersund to capture the beast, and you can read all about fridlysningen 1986. Jamtli archive has a large collection of stories, newspaper clippings and other things you want to know more about the mysterious creature.

Here you can listen to some stories about encounters with the beast.
Kai Power interviewing
harpoons author Ove >>
Kai Power interviewing Claus and Anna Andersson and Mrs. Emelia Svensson >>
Kai Power interview
Alf Karlsson and Martina Dahlberg >>
Kai Power interviewing 
Esther Rehn >>

You can read Esther Rehn story
here >>

Attempted Trapping

In this vast scissors trying to capture the Beast at the end of the 1800s. Trap was baited with a whole pig. The attempt failed, and the prevailing theory is that the beast exclusively feed on fish.

An ancient history

The monster (or cousin ...) is depicted on the runestone on Frösön, which was erected between 1050 and 1080
[This is actually Iorgomundr, the World Serpent and well-known in mythology]


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(Hydogiganta Monstruidae Jemtlandicum,
Storsie (English))

"The Great-Lake Monster"
Sub groupingLake monster
First reported1635
Last reportedNovember 2005
RegionStorsjön, Jämtland
Storsjöodjuret (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈstuːʂøːuˈjʉːrɛ], literally "The Great-Lake Monster") is a lake monster reported to live in the 300-foot-deep (91 m) lake Storsjön in Jämtland in the middle of Sweden. The lake monster was first reported in 1635 and is the only one of its kind in Sweden. When the only city located by Storsjön, Östersund, celebrated its 200 year anniversary in 1986 Storsjöodjuret along with its offspring and nest became protected by law, a law which was revoked in 2005.[1]
It is popularly referred to as Storsjöodjuret whereas odjur is a Swedish word for "monster", literally "unanimal" (a name first recorded in 1899), and storsjö is a compound of the Swedish words stor (big, or great) and sjö (lake) which would closest translate to "great-lake". Sometimes it's simply called Storsjödjuret, which translates to "The 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 language Storsjöodjuret is usually called Storsie, similarly to Nessie, though the names Storsjö Monster (also spelled Storsjoe[2] where the character ö is unavailable) and the literal translation The Great-Lake Monster are used. Its latin name is Hydogiganta Monstruidae Jemtlandicum[3] roughly meaning "The Gigantic Jamtlandic Water Monster". It has also been called Storsjöormen "The Great-Lake Serpent".[4]


Storsjöodjuret is described as a serpentine or aquatic reptile with fins across its back and the head of a dog [or a horse]. It is reported to measure approximately six meters long [20 feet], and some accounts describe it as having several humps.[1 to 1.25 meters wide and 3 to 15 meters long generally: ten feet long and 3 feet wide, or up to as much as 50 feet long, rarely over 30 feet long]



The Frösö Runestone from the mid 11th century. In the legend from 1635 Storsjöodjuret is said to be the serpent depicted on the stone.
The first description of a sea creature in Storsjön was made in a folklorist tale by vicar Morgens 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."[5]
Another legend was written down by the prolocutor Andreas Plantin in an inquiry in 1685.
"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 and 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."[6]
The runestone both texts refer to is the Frösö Runestone, the northern-most raised runestone in the World. 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 captured Storsjöodjuret on film. The cameras showed red so it was something warm that was filmed.[2][7]

Protected status

In 1986, the Jämtland county administrative board declared the Storsjöodjuret to be an endangered species and granted it protected status. However, it was removed from the list in November 2005.



  1. ^ "Fridlysningen". Retrieved 2009-09-10. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Sweden's Loch Ness monster possibly caught on camera", Agence France-Presse, August 29, 2008.
  3. ^ "Visste ni detta om Östersund?" (in Swedish). Östersund Tourist- & Conference Office. Retrieved 2008-06-29.
  4. ^ Westin, L O (1917). "Storsjöormen" in Erik Festin: Jämten 1919 (in Swedish). Östersund, 69.
  5. ^ "Jata and Kata". Retrieved 2008-06-29.
  6. ^ Sundberg, Jan-Ove (1995). Storsjöodjuret, Seljordsormen, Nessie och andra sjömonster (in Swedish). Södertälje: Larsons Förlag, 17.
  7. ^ SvD: Storsjöodjuret fångat på film

External links

The first link yields this description for
What, then, does the monster look like? Eyewitnesses speak of a long snake-like animals with humps and small dog like head with ears or fins pinned next to the neck {sometimes a large horselike head with horns and a mane]. The length varies between 3.5 and 14 meters, width from 1 to 1.25 meters.
Others who have seen the animal at close range, describing it as short and stubby, about 3 m long with short, thick feet, big head and round eyes. The skin is often described as smooth, shiny, slimy and sometimes scaly. The color varies. Gray, gray with black spots, dark green, brownish red with dark longitudinal streaks.  Big Sea monsters have been observed. Storsjö sound has been described as hissing, whistling or rattling.
Storsjöodjuret is a heat lover. In fine, warm and clear summer weather, often becalmed, making the animal gladly rapid surges in the water. Speed ​​has never been measured, but is expected by many observers to be very high.
The monster has a peculiar ability to stealthily disappear. Sometimes, however, eddies and foam have been observed at the site. These findings very similar to observations of sea monsters in other parts of the world.

And the last link (Unknown Explorers) gives this information:
Lake Storsjön, Located in Jamtland County Sweden, was formed over 9,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. With a surface area great than 287 miles and a depth of up to 250 feet Lake Storsjön is Sweden’s 5th largest lake, and the reported home of a large persumably amphibious creature the locals call Storsie. The first docutmented sighting of the creature was made by a vicar in 1635, during which the creature was known for raiding local farm crops. Descriptions of the beast tend to vary with the majority describing the creature as being serpentine in appearance with multiple humps on its back, a canine like head and greyish skin. Other reports say the creature is short in stature and is morbily obese with a roundish skull. The creatures limbs are also a topic of controversy, some eye wittnesses claim that they resemble the large flippers common to aquatic animals and other lake monsters, while some insist that Storsie is equiped with more terrestrial looking feet, consisting of strong back legs and short forelimbs. All accounts seem to agree that the creature has large eyes, a prodigious mouth and is between [1]0 and 30-feet in length. Since the first documented sighting of Storsie literally thousands of people have claimed to have seen the creature, some have even taken pictures of what they believe is the legendary beast. Perhaps the most incredible piece of evidence uncovered to date is a carcass believed by some researchers to be that of a Storcie embryo. The carcass was discovered on the shore of Lake Storsjön on June 18, 1984; it was remarkably well preserved and is now housed in a glass jar at the Jamtli, museum of Jamtland. In August of 1998, as a result of several resent eye witness reports, Storsie became the subject of an intense, two and a half week international expedition known as G.U.S.T. 98. The Team, led by G.U.S.T. founder Jan Ove Sunberg, unfortunately was unable to obtain any concrete evidence of the existence of Storsie. G.U.S.T. or Global Underwater Search Team is still in operation today as one of the worlds leaders in the search for lake monsters. That very same year Adrian Shine, famed Loch Ness naturalist and monster hunter, led his own expedition to uncover the secrets of Storsie but came up empty handed. In the summer of 2000, four observation platforms were erected on the shores of Lake Storsjön, in 2001 an additional four platforms where constructed, giving both locals and tourists plenty of oppertunitys to enjoy the natural splender of the area and perhaps a chance to have a sighting of the legendary Storsie.
The Evidence
The only physical evidence of Storsie, though inconclusive, is the proposed Storsie Embryo discovered in 1984. Eye witness reports and several photographs are our best evidence that something dwells in the depths of this lake.
The Sightings
73 year old Ragnar Bj, a fisheries officer, was navigating the lake in his 12 foot row boat in order to check fishing permits. He claims the placid waters of the lake suddenly broke astern of his vessel revealing a gigantic serpentine tail. Moments later the rest of the gigantic creature emerged directly next to his boat. Ragnar described the animal as being over 18-feet long, with a grayish-brown spine and a yellow underbelly. Frightened by the creature Ragnar grabbed his oar and beat the creature along the neck, causing the beast to become angry and lifted its massive tail from the water bringing it crashing down next to the row boat. Ragnar then reports that this action by the creature sent his boat soaring 9 feet in the air.
The Stats – (Where applicable) • Classification: Unknown, possibly reptilian
• Size: [1]0 to 30 feet
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Unknown most likely fish
• Location: Lake Storsjön, Sweden
• Movement: Primarily swimming with some reports of land based movement.
• Environment: Lake


Etymology: Swedish, “Storsjö monster.”
Variant names: Storsie, Thelma.[=Selma?]
Physical description:
Serpentine. Length, 10–45 feet. Width, 3–4 feet.
Shiny skin, greenish to grayish.
Round head like a cat’s or a dog’s,
body 3 feet wide.
Reports from the nineteenth century describe a horselike head with a long, white mane.
Large, dark eyes. Long, sail-like ears (or dorsal crest) that it presses back against its neck.
Long, flickering tongue.
Neck [or forepart], 8–10 feet long. Multiple humps.
Two pairs of stumpy legs or fins. Powerful tail.

Behavior: Most active in the summer. Swims swiftly, perhaps as fast as 45 miles per hour.
Said to make a wailing or a rattling noise.

Distribution: Storsjön Lake, Jämtland County, Sweden. Sightings have primarily been in the narrow arms of the lake south of Frösön Island.

Significant sightings:
Around 1839, Aron Andersson and others at Hackås watched a red-gray animal with a head like a horse’s and a white mane swimming away from the shore.
Marta and Karin Olsson were washing clothes on the beach near Sörbyn on October 13, 1893, when they saw an animal’s head rising and falling in the water. After Karin threw some stones at it, it swam swiftly toward the shore. The women ran but saw the animal submerge eventually.
In 1894, amusement-park owner Maria Helin and other citizens of Östersund formed a company to try to capture the animal. Even King Oscar II made a financial contribution. They constructed a jetty into the lake and hired a Norwegian whaler, harpoons at the ready, to watch for any activity. A huge trap was set under the jetty, and large hooks were baited and placed at various points around the lake, but the company met with no success. The trap and other equipment are in the Jämtland Museum.
On July 14, 1931, Anders Bergqvist and Jonas Hansson saw two humps in the water at Myrviken.
Anna Rahm observed a gray animal, 9 feet long and with a powerful tail and large ears, at Åssjön on August 12, 1947. Its tongue moved up and down threateningly, and its eyes rolled.
On August 10, 1983, Carina Johnsson took photographs of a large, swiftly moving animal in the bay of Brunfloviken.
An alleged embryo of Storsjöodjuret was found on the shore on June 18, 1984. It has been at the Jämtland Museum since 1985.
Gun-Britt Widmark took a video of a 33–39- foot animal in July 1996 while he was boating off Östersund.
On August 8, 1997, Elin and Cecilia Hemreus saw the animal’s head and one arched loop of its body from only 30 feet away while they were swimming near Tippskar Island. The head was horselike, with two black eyes on the sides; the neck was about 6 feet long. The body had large, round scales like armored plates. A woman in Brunflo saw a serpentine monster swimming 90 feet offshore in July 2000. It was 20–25 feet long and golden with a blackish back.

Possible explanations:
(1) A floating log.
(2) Ducks or other waterfowl swimming in a row.
(3) A large fish, possibly a Wels catfish (Silurus glanis), which grows up to 16 feet and is found in Scandinavia, Russia, and Eastern Europe. The largest wels in Sweden weighed 132.5 pounds and was caught in 1981.
(4) A misidentified boat wake
(5) An unidentified species of seal is unlikely,
since the lake freezes over in the winter.[Seals DO live under ice cover at times, though]

 Peter Olsson, Storsjöodjuret: Framställning af fakta och utredning (Östersund, Sweden: Jämtlandspostens Boktryckeri, 1899);
 Arvid Enqvist, “Runstenen på Frösön och den bundna sjöormen,” Rig: Tidskrift Utgiven av Föreningen för Svensk Kulturhistoria 21 (1938): 157–168;
Knut Svedjeland, Storsjöodjuret (Östersund, Sweden: S-förlaget, 1959);
Tim Dinsdale, The Leviathans (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1966), pp. 40–43; Peter Costello, In Search of Lake Monsters (New York: Coward, McCann and Geoghegan, 1974), pp. 197–207;
Jan-Ove Sundberg, Storsjö Odjuret, Seljordsormen, Nessie och andra sjömonster (Täby, Sweden: Larsons Förlag, 1995), pp. 11–93;
“Monster Machinations,” Fortean Times, no. 92 (November 1996):18;
 John Kirk, In the Domain of Lake Monsters (Toronto, Canada: Key Porter Books, 1998), pp. 233–234;
Ulla Oscarsson, Storsjöodjuret: The Great Lake Monster (Östersund, Sweden: Jämtland County Museum, 2000);
Global Underwater Search Team (GUST), Our Search for Unknown Animals, http://www.bahnhof. se/~wizard/cryptoworld/index3a.html;
Storsjöodjurets Officiella Hemsida,

I think there is clear evidence for at least two different sorts of creatures (Leaving out the large pikelike fish and possibly a giant salamander): one is the standard Water Horse which is the one shown at the beginning of this blog posting. It has a blunt snout with overhanging lip, rough whiskers, big round nostrils at the end of a blunt horselike snout; prominent black eyes (Red-Rimmed if the creature is very fearful), a mane, a beard, large drrping ears with also a hairy fringe and what look pretty definitely like moose (elk) antlers with the forward prongs and more palmate rear part. This type has a prominent hump on its shoulders and frequently has a trail of smaller humps also, although the better estimates still only say it is 12-18 feet long. When it comes out on land it looks like a horse and it even gallops.The head-neck region is 4-6 feet long and the body (trunk) is twice that length, broad and barrel-shaped. The entire body is hairy or shaggy but especially at the spine.
 The "V-shaped tail" is an interpretation of the wake also, only very rarely alleged.

The other, more interesting creature is evidently some kind of a very large otter. It can look elongated and sepentine when it is stretched out and swimming fast, or fat and clumsy when it is hunched up on itself on land or at the shoreline. It is definitely amphibious also.

Witnmess drawing above and monster mock-up on the lake's shore below.

I take all of these depictions of this later series to be getting at the idea of a large otterlike creature: the projections on the back are probably due to the locks of fur sticking togeter again. It has a fairly long neck, a big doglike head with "pricked-up" ears,four webbed feet (not flippers although they are interpreted as flippers at times) and a tail with a flattened fringing "Fin" along its sides.

Two essays of reconstruction for Storsie by Morelock on Deviant Art,
scale reduced because we are talking about average sizes and not necessarily maximum estimates

Two photographs of what seem to be large solid moving objects on Storsjon

Closeup of purported Storsie photo showing its back in a diving roll, And below an underwater video of a really big pike . The video is part of a playlist and it keeps going on after this one ends. Some of the videos possibly show eels but there is no way to know how big they might be.

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