Tales of sea serpents have circulated since the beginning of recorded time, and this particular creature (nicknamed Selma by the locals) dates back to 1750 when the first official sighting occurred. In the more than 260 intervening years, many reputable people in this region of Norway have recorded seeing “something” very black and very big, somewhere between 10 and 40 feet long with the face of an earless horse and huge black eyes. The description greatly resembles a giant eel-like creature or possibly a plesiosaur, an extinct marine reptile dating back to the age of dinosaurs.

Is Selma part of local legend or is she real?

Locals claim that Selma the sea serpent or lindworm (any serpent or monstrous snake) has been known to overturn boats and dance along the 8-mile (13 km) long waters of Seljord, Telemark, Norway. The creature and its surrounding legend is so entwined in the history of the region that the town’s coat of arms, designed in 1989 by a local artist, is a sea serpent! The truth appears to be as elusive and murky as the waters in which Selma supposedly calls home.

Have there been any scientific attempts to find Selma?

There have been several serious expeditions to the area focused on proving Selma’s existence. The first one was about eight years ago and was uneventful.

The second, which occurred a few years later, was aided by acoustical microphones, which marked a serious attempt to capture animal noises in the water. “The “sounds of an unknown mammal,” similar to but not a whale were detected but could not be further evaluated. Some believe this creature is of the same species as those that are said to live in Loch Ness, Scotland and Lake Okanogan in Canada.

There is some potential evidence that needs to be further scrutinized in the form of a video recorded by a young Norwegian girl who was visiting the lake with relatives that may have captured images of Selma. (The image appears above.)

Despite many sightings, real evidence so far has been elusive. Whatever a scientific discovery might signify for science and mankind, just consider how frightening this must be for the creature, whose only purpose in life must surely be the desire to be left alone!

Here’s to you, Selma the sea serpent, wherever and if ever you really are! May you provoke mystery and elude discovery forever!