Storsjoodjuret, yes that is a real word and it is the name given to a cryptid that is said to live in the icy waters of Lake Storsjon (also a real word) in Sweden.The lake is up to 300ft in depth with a surface area of 464 km2 and the city of Ostursund is nestled on its eastern shore line.The creature, whose name I cant pronounce to save my life was said to have been first recorded in 1635 by a folklorist and vicar Morgens Pedersen. He describes the creature as being the creation of a couple of trolls who were engaged in the production of magical substances.

 “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.”

So since the days of Morgens people have continued to report strange sightings of Storsjoodjuret, and it is said that to date there have been over 500 hundred reported sightings of the creature. Olle Mattsson an antiquarian at the near by Ostursund museum has been looking back through the museums archives for historical reports of the creature, and he has also added more recent accounts to his files as well. From these 500 + collection of reports Mattsson describes the creature as 10 to 16ft long dark grey or black with a small head.

When I read this description it reminded me of the numerous reports of the Irish lake monsters mentioned in The Dragon and the Disc 1972 by F W Holiday. In which the author gives detailed accounts of many giant eel type creature living in the numerous lakes of Ireland.

The giant eel theory is one that has fascinated me for some time and in particular Richard Freeman’s idea that many of these creatures might be giant eunuch eels that have no desire to return to the sea to reproduce and die, the theory goes that these eels stay in fresh water and just keep growing, and eventually attaining a massive size. Of course although very intriguing this is just a theory and more work needs to be done to add more weight to it.

There is a video that purports to be of the monster that was shot by a film crew in 2008, but as usual with this kind of thing it raises more questions than it answers. It was shot underwater and there is nothing else in the frame that we might be able to use to get an estimation of its size, and of course the creature can not be seen in any real detail. But to me it doesn’t really look like an eel. What I have to assume is its head doesn’t look right for an eel and neither does its body movements, in fact in places it doesn’t really appear to be moving under its own power, it looks almost like a bit of plant matter wafting around in the flow of the water……
In an odd twist Storsjoodjuret, as well as its offspring and nest was actually protected as an endangered species by Swedish law in 1986, but this law was revoked nearly 20 years later. But his wasn’t the first time that the monster came to the attention of the Swedish authorities. Way back in the 1890s a group of local people came together with the aim to capture it, this even got royal approval when King Oscar II backed the group.