Sea Monster Discovered by Archaeologists in Baltic Sea

Archaeologists digging in the Baltic sea near southern Sweden this week discovered a wooden ‘sea monster’ used by Vikings as a warship’s figurehead. The 11-feet long, 660 lb wooden sea monster had been lying under a seabed for more than five centuries. The dragon was the figurehead of a 15th-century Viking vessel called the “Gribshunden” (or “grip-dog”).


As Ellie Zolfagharifard writes for the Daily Mail, The Danish King John owned the Gribshunden, a warship believed by archaeologists to have sunk on Sweden’s east coast in 1495 after catching fire en route to Kalmar from Copenhagen. The sinking was a large setback to the king, who was planning to unify Norway, Sweden and Denmark. It is believed that the Gribshunden was a cutting-edge naval vessel in the 15th century.

“Sea Monster” Discovered by Archaeologists in Baltic Sea-Clapway

The bulk of the ship has been well-preserved over the five hundred years since it sunk mainly because sea-worms can’t survive in the salty Baltic Sea. Parts of the Gribshunden’s weapons and armor that researchers have recovered are displayed in Danish museums.

“There seems to be something in his mouth. There seems to be a person in its mouth and he’s eating somebody,” said Johan Rönnby, Södertörn University professor of maritime archaeology in a statement to the BBC.


Rönnby posited that the sea monster could be “some kind of fantasy animal – a dragon with lion ears and crocodile-like mouth. And there seems to be something in his mouth. There seems to be a person in its mouth and he’s eating somebody.

“It could be the very ‘Grip Dog’ that the name of the ship – Gribshunden – reflects,” the archaeologist said. And given its appearance, it comes as no surprise that the sea monster was also designed to ward off evil spirits at sea.

As Rönnby told the Daily Mail, “the last time it looked at the world, Leonardo da Vinci and Christopher Columbus were still living.”

Sea Monster Discovered by Archaeologists in Baltic Sea- Clapway


Currently, the sea monster is at the Bleking Museum storehouse in a waterbath, after which it will undergo the preservation procedure. Researchers are planning to bring more of the ship’s wreck to the surface.

Photo Credit: BBC

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