Mjossie

Freshwater Monster of Norway. Variant name: Mjoes orm. Physical description: Length, 75 feet. Horselike head. Black mane. Large eyes.

Behavior: Most active in the summer months. Eats livestock.

Distribution: Mj0sa, Hedmark County, Norway.

Significant sightings: In 1522, the monster was stranded on a rock, where it was killed by a daring youth who shot a volley of arrows into its eye. It washed up on land, and villagers burned it. The skeleton lay undisturbed on the beach for years until some German merchants obtained permission to haul away the bones.

A young couple discovered a Mjoes orm partially beached near their farm. It was brown-black in color, appeared 1.5 feet thick, and had a horselike head with no visible ears. About 30 feet of the body was out of the water. When the man approached, it rose up and quickly moved back into the water.

Sources: Jacob Ziegler, Quae intus continentur (Strasbourg, France: P. Opilionem, 1532); Olaus Magnus, Historia Ioannis Magni Gothi Sedis apostolicae legati Svetiae et Gotiae primatis ac archiepiscopi upsalensis (Rome: I. M. de Viottis, 1554); The Hamar Chronicle [1617-1624] (Hamar, Norway: Association and Friends of the Hedmark Museum, 1993);

Elizabeth Skjelsvik, "Norwegian Lake and Sea Monsters," Norveg 7 (1960): 29-48; Reidar Christiansen, ed., Folktales ofNorway (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964), pp. 70-71; "On the Beach," Fortean Times, no. 159 (July 2002): 17; Erik Knatterud, The Mjoes Orm, http://www. mjoesormen.no/themjoesorm.htm.

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