In Search Of: Norway’s Great Lake Monster (Season 2) | History


[music playing] NARRATOR: Despite
thousands of sightings and near constant speculation
about the Loch Ness Monster, there’s still very little
agreement about its features or where it might be found. It’s a problem that’s been
frustrating Nessie hunters for decades. We’re not spending all
this time and money trying to prove that there’s a large
unidentified species in Loch Ness. We know that. We’ve seen it. We know it’s here. What we are trying to do
now is identify the species. [music playing] NARRATOR: Today, a
brand new profile is emerging, which,
once complete, could help us finally
find the beast. But while most researchers
have focused their efforts within the Scottish
Highlands, they’re ignoring a key data source. Because as it turns out,
this unknown species might have a long lost
twin outside the Loch. In the 17th century,
a similar creature began appearing here in
Northern Sweden’s Storsjon Lake. The Swedes call it the
Great Lake Monster. In the Eastern
town of Ostersund, archaeologist Anders Hansson
has been studying the Great Lake Monster for years
and believes there is a definite link to Loch Ness. We know that people
have always been seeing strange things in big waters. And this is part of the Western
and Norwegian tradition, and even up to Scotland, that
we have these sea serpents. NARRATOR: There have been
rumors of an unknown underwater species in Storsjon as far
back as the 11th century, not long after rumors
of Nessie began. One early description was even
recorded on a Viking relic called the Froso
Runestone that has stood in Ostersund since 1050. ANDERS HANSSON:
And as you can see, it’s got this great
serpent, this dragon on it. And this is what is
said to be the first– actually, first picture and
story about the Great Lake Monster. [music playing] NARRATOR: A similar timeline
isn’t the only thing these two creatures share. Both Loch Ness and Storsjon
are cold freshwater lakes. And both feed directly into
the same common body of water– the North Sea. In other words, a
migratory aquatic species could swim between both lakes. Physical accounts of
the Swedish monster also line up with
alleged Nessie sightings. ANDERS HANSSON:
People are fishing, seeing something in the lake. Sometimes it’s 3 meters. Sometimes it’s 15 meters long. NARRATOR: Almost all the
witnesses describe the monster with a long, sea-serpent-like
body and the head of a dog or a horse. Some of them are
quite traumatic, talking about the
speed of the monster, and how the mouth of it was so
big that you could put down– I mean, your whole head in
the mouth of the monster. So what do we have here? Two similar creatures spotted
along similar timelines, both in large, cold,
northern freshwater lakes. And what’s more, these
two lakes are directly linked via the North Sea. If the Swedish and
Scottish monsters are related or even
the same species, it raises a frightening
possibility. Perhaps the Loch Ness Monster
isn’t trapped in the Loch at all. [music playing]

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