At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.
THE TROUBLE WITH TROLLS
The trouble with troll is that the term is so widely used and can mean different things to different people. It is better avoideed as a term by cryptozoologists, unless they find themselves in a situation where no other term will suffice. Amongst the early Scandinavians troll was a word used for a giant, but to qualify as a troll it had to be an evil giant. In the Middle Ages the word was held to denote a species different from giants, but it still seems to have been conceived as gigantic and humanoid. In modern Swedish and Danish folklore, it signifies one of the Little People, but it can also to be used to mean supernatural beings generally. Its meaning of giant is preserved in Norway.
|Combat with troll|
The word may originally been connected with magic, as you have such words as Old Norse trollmann, 'wizard', and trolldomr, 'witchcraft'. Some traditions say they cannot stand sunlight, if caught out at daybreak they will transform into inanimate matter. An ultimate root of the word has been suggested meaning 'trundler', giving the impression of an uncouth creature. Trolls have also been referred to in the form of bulls, boars and even ordinary humans.
Trolls were supposed to live in groups rather than singly. In fact, one must bear in mind the belief in wildmen that is found in folklore all over Europe and even ask if trolls have any connection with bigfoot-type creatures. Did such creatures actually exist outside imagination?
In 1407 James Egelinus, a Scotsman, was shipwrecked on the Norwegian coast. There he saw wildmen and was told by the local humans that they would raid human houses and devour human captives, but could be driven off by dogs. Just what Egelinus encountered remains a mystery.
Trolls were reported in Iceland in the 18th Century.
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