From Iceland — Monster Of The Month: Fjörulabbi, The Shore Laddie

Monster Of The Month: Fjörulabbi, The Shore Laddie

Published March 4, 2016

Inhabitants in the Westfjords often catch sight of an animal emerging from the sea and onto the shore. Some believe it to be a sea otter, but the locals refer to it, as previously mentioned, as a shore laddie. They say that its size and shape resembles that of sheep. The shore laddie is most often seen on land during the breeding season of the ewes, allegedly to serve as their ram. It is said that when ewes frequent shores where a short laddie has been spotted, unusully many deformed lambs, resembling the shore laddie in appearance, are subsequently born. Many accounts support this, including this one:

“One early winter evening in Bjarnarhöfn by Breidafjordur, six men went out to see whether missing sheep had returned to the farm. They observed something moving by the shed and rushed to grap hold of the sheep and take it inside. When they came closer they realised that this was no sheep. They formed a circle around the creature which then took off towards the sea, pursued by the men, including my narrator. It ran as quickly as a dog and escaped into the ocean. It had a short, round head but otherwise resembled a dog rather than sheep. It had a hump on its back and jumped frequently as it ran.”

Source: Sigfús Sigfússon, Íslenzkar þjóðsögur og sagnir V, bls 96.


Our Monster of the Month comes from the project Duldýrasafnið (“Hidden Beings Museum”) by Arngrimur Sigurðsson. He takes firsthand accounts of creature sightings, like the one above, from Icelandic historical texts, and creates a painting of each one. An Icelandic book is out now, and an English language book is coming soon. Read our interview with the artist here.

Read Also: More Monsters.

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