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.

Saturday 21 November 2015


Should you find yourself in Norway, there is a curious geological structure there called Juluporten (Giant's Door).  Beyond it dwells the giant Jutul (sometimes described as a troll), so legend has it.  It is said if you throw three stones in succession at the door, the Giant, referred to as Jutul, will answer it.  This structure, by the way, is to be found on Road 454 in Oppland.  The Giant's wife also dwells within.

Now, if I believed a Giant dwelt on the far side of the door, I wouldn't go so far as to cast stones at it, lest it provoke him to anger.  I am somewhat advanced in years, not up to tackling a wrathful giant.  However, this particular giant has a story told about him which is worth mentioning.

A Norwegian called John Blessom, an historical person who throve in the 17th Century, was down in Copenhagen for litigious purposes.  He was, however, homesick.  Jutul happened also to be visiting the city and offered him a ride home on his sled.  The speed with which Jutul's horse drew this vehicle was breathtaking.  Blessom could not discern sea or sky.  At one stage they stopped for a rest and, as they shot off again, Blessom thought he saw a pole with a skull on the top of it.  At last they reached the Giant's doorway.  Jutul went in and told Blessom to go home and not to look back.  Guess what?  He looked back and there was a twist in his neck ever after.

The reader may have noticed there is some apparent confusion about whether Jutul is a Giant or a Troll.  Actually, however, the word Troll was used in Northern Europe to cover a wide variety of supernatural beings.  Very big trolls were said to turn to stones or trees if daylight struck them.  A variant of this, supplied by the folklorist G. Hyltén-Cavallius, is that Giants died if struck by sunlight but Trolls burst asunder.


I don't think I would like to be in the vicinity of a bursting troll.  It would not be pleasant to be struck by the débris flying through the air.

Giant King

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