By Anastacia Sampson
Swedish Mythologies Of Water Creatures
There are a great amount of mythological characters, yet in Sweden there are also the water based creatures.
Nökken, also known as Nyk or Nykkjen supposedly lives in fresh water, deep ponds or lakes. In Swedish folklore, Nyk sometimes appears as a handsome man who lures women into jumping into the water and then proceeds to drown them. He not only targets women, yet also children. By transforming himself into a white horse, he appeals to children to climb onto his back. After they are on his back he then jumps back into his water home with the children. Unknown night sounds of a violin are rumoured to be the music being played by a Nyk in his watery surroundings. The scream of a Nyk at a particular place on a waterway, has been believed to be an omen of someone having a water related death at that exact site. To protect oneself from this water fatal creature, a person can toss metal, such as a needle or cross into the water. If it was too late and a Nyk had already caught his victim, the victim could still overpower him by stating, ‘Nyk! Nyk! Needle in the water. The Virgin Mary threw steel in the water! You are sinking, I float!’
Fossegrimme is a relative of the Nyk. He is rather harmless and appears as a handsome young naked man often skilfully playing beautiful music with his violin under a waterfall. Rumours abound of how, this water creature is prepared to teach a human how to play in a similar manner, yet for a price. The price is usually a piece of meat. His music is believed to be the sound of nature itself.
Draugen or draug is a water based ghost, the ghost of a man who is believed to have died at sea. He appears covered in seaweed, with a huge monster like form and he tends to scream. He also rows half a boat. At times of storms it is folklore that a draugen will drown sailors and fishermen with their boats. It is recommended that the sight of a draugen is a sign of fatality and to try avoid this, one must race the draugen and win that race.
The dragon is a terrifying creature with serpentine or reptilian features. Dragons reside in lakes, sea and even in caves or some underground place. Although the water based European dragon may have wings, it does not tend to fly. Their hide is hard or armoured. Storsjön Lake (the fifth largest lake in Sweden) is believed by some to contain a famous dragon. This great lake monster is known as Storsjöodjuret, and it is the only one of its kind. This dragon has been rumoured to be seen by people over the years since 1635, yet physical descriptions of the dragon tend to vary. In 2008, a film has claimed to show evidence of the creature.
Kraken is another mythological water creature, particularly rumoured to be active around the Norwegian coast line. Physical traits were originally in the shape of a crab, the size of an island. Later it was described as a monstrous octopus that could pull down ships below into the depths of the sea.
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