Monster Figurehead From 15th Century Warship Raised from Baltic

Posted on August 15, 2015

Figurehead from the 15th century Gribshunden warship

Researchers have raised a monster figurehead from the 15th century warship Gribshunden from the Baltic Sea. Researchers from Sodertorn University in Sweden say the dragon-like figurehead was carved from a 3.4 meter (11 feet) long beam.

The researchers say no similar item from the 15th century has ever been found. The Gribshunden was a Danish royal ship that sank in 1495. It belonged to the Danish King Hans. It sank after catching fire in an accident.

Johan Ronnby, professor of marine archaeology at Sodertorn University, told BBC News, "It's a monster. It's a sea monster and we have to discuss what kind of animal it is. I think it's 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."

The Gribshunden is thought to be the best preserved 15th century ship. Take a look:



Photo: Johan Ronnby/Sodertorn University
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