water Horse of Northern Europe.
Etymology: Norwegian, "sea horse." In Norway, this is also a common name for the Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), a stocky, thick-necked seabird that breeds along the North Atlantic coast.
Physical description: Horse's head. Small, yellow eyes. Double row of teeth. Long canines. Scaly body. Long mane. Front flippers or hooves. Long, curved fish tail.
Behavior: Stinking breath. Lashes water with tail.
Significant sighting: Represented in traditional Scandinavian folk art as a horse-fish hybrid with a long, scaly, curved tail.
Possible explanation: The Walrus (Odebenus rosmarus) is found in the Norwegian dependency of Svalbard and may have occasionally strayed to the Norwegian coast in earlier eras.
Sources: Kristian Bugge, Folkeminneoptegnelser (Oslo: Norsk Folkeminnelag, 1934), pp. 103-105; Halvor J. Sandsdalen, Ormen i Seljordsvatnet (Oslo:
Noregs Boklag, 1976); Michel Meurger and Claude Gagnon, Lake Monster Traditions: A Cross-Cultural Analysis (London: Fortean Tomes, 1988), pp. 28, 223-225.
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