USO - Norwegian Worm Monster

Peacechief

New Member
Apologies if this is posted in the wrong category, as this is a USO.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXRxhWKziq8


Filmed on August 4th, 2012 at 11am.

Location: https://www.google.com/maps/@67.8798831,16.7190685,3245m/data=!3m1!1e3

The video introduction gives some more detail. There's footage from two different cameras in the video. I'm not sure what animals live in / near this habitat. Maybe some marine biologists could chime in with some possible explanations. The creator of the video is responsive on youtube, so we could reach out to him for questions.

Cheers!
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
I don't see any reason not to say "Look, a small boat leaving a wake, sometimes the crest of the wake catches the sun, looks like sometimes maybe a window on the boat does too." I don't see definitive proof of that, but I don't see anything that rules it out. Does somebody see details that say "can't because boat" that I am missing?
 

Matt33

Member
My theory would be a methane deposit bubbling up.
Edit: just saw that the poster wrote that himself in a comment. According to special maps that region can have permafrost. Due to global warming melting permafrost is releasing methane increasingly. The bad camera makes it look bigger and more spectacular than it probably was.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
I haven't been able to access peakfinder, but the camera seems to be about a mile away from the USO. The videographer misidentifies the trajectory on the map; since it is moving away from the camera, it's main direction is to the East, in the northwestern quarter of the lake, starting near where his "anomaly" map marker is.
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
I'm not really certain whether a small boat or a small seaplane would be identifyable at that range; I wouldn't be surprised if it was hard to hear.

I'm very certain that the lake is too small and too shallow to support the food needs of a sea monster, especially since it is liable to freeze in the winter.
 
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LilWabbit

Active Member
Looks uncannily like jet ski wakes or speed boat wakes generated by 2-3 vessels, sometimes trailing one another, other times going separate ways. Due to their distance from the camera, the vessels themselves are not visible. Only the wakes they generate. The wakes obviously come to an abrupt end when the vessels stop or slow down significantly, creating an optical illusion of a vessel diving underwater. The wakes also dissipate, which is to be expected. Jet skis can generate sizeable wakes at somewhat slow speeds.

Article:
Because jet skis are small and highly maneuverable compared to traditional watercraft, it’s often easy to forget how much wake they can generate. Most jet skis start making a sizeable wake at about 4 – 5 mph and as operators we need to be mindful of the impact of our wakes.


Granted, a remote high elevation glacial lake in arctic Scandinavia seems like an odd place to go jet skiing or speed boating. But then again, we're talking about them weird vikings.

:p
 

FatPhil

Active Member
The first thing that went through my mind was that it was specular reflections off the wake of a skidoo.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Granted, a remote high elevation glacial lake in arctic Scandinavia seems like an odd place to go jet skiing or speed boating. But then again, we're talking about them weird vikings.

:p
And we know boats and jet skis exist, so there's that. :)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
I've tried to listen for engine sounds on the video; there's a certain level of background noise that could be hiding engine noise, but it's hard to tell. At the distance, the noise would be delayed around 5 seconds, so if it is a water vehicle starting and stopping, the noise wouldn't match it at all because if the delay, making it hard to recognize as belonging together.

I found a similar video of an Irish "Lake Monster", also a Low Information Zone video, where some commentators claimed to make out waterfowl. They can travel in large flocks, would be invisible at the distance, and do create some wake taking off and landing:
Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=z9Z82v_57QU

Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9CeP7zMlJtY

I have seen waterfowl using "surface flight" to reposition on the water, as well.

Another guess was a school of fish swimming close to the surface.

Given the fact that this is a wilderness lake, my money would be on an animal explanation, just not on a single large one, but a group of smaller animals.
 
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LilWabbit

Active Member
I have seen waterfowl using "surface flight" to reposition on the water, as well.

I think you're onto something.

Loons (black-throated loons as well as red-throated loons) breed and feed in arctic freshwater lakes in northern Scandinavia. They're known for their courtship dance on the water as well as running on water for short bursts and during takeoff. The breeding season is after thaw which in arctic regions would match somewhat closely the time the video was taken (early August 2012). Take note of the wake generated by this loon that begins at 0:07 and ends at 0:50:

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJUV68S3RVo


Also notice the water landing of the loons as well as their courtship dance at 8:16-8:43 in this nature video from Finland (not far from arctic Scandinavia):

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5zg_af9b8c
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Man, why does great stuff happen at 360p?

I thought that he said he would be posting a higher quality version
but that never happened (?)

At this distance + this super low resolution, I have no real guess...
 

Ravi

Active Member
Very interesting case. I thought we already had a thread on this one? Perhaps I am mixing up reddit.

To me, any boat or plane or anything related to leisure stuff is very unlikely.
I have hiked in this region, and I can guarantee nobody, not even the Norwegians, take boats etc to lakes that are in this remote area. The reason is obvious: you have to climb a lot of rocks to get up there.

I am clueless what it can be but like the suggestions above. If we only would have a little bit more resolution in the video...

EDIT:
I am asking a friend who lives close to this area. Hopefully he knows. He is an avid hiker, perhaps he has seen it before.
 
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scombrid

Senior Member.
It might even be the equivalent of a dust devil stirring up the water, though I wouldn't expect one in Skandinavia.
Source: https://m.imgur.com/gallery/9nXe9QQ
That's my first guess. It is making a tiny wake that is shimmering brightly because he is facing towards the sun. Conditions are right for it. There is a shallow thermal inversion as indicated by the calm lake and the flat-topped haze layer. Daytime heating is just starting to mix out the inversion and air flowing down the hill toward the lake is balanced by an updraft column over the lake.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
image.jpeg
There's a white wake-like spot on the water caused by the waterspout.

Youtube upload of this video (for embedding):
Source: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DaGk3qHXz00


I'm not convinced that the movement pattern of such a waterspout fits the "Norwegian worm", but then I don't know much about these spouts. I do know that "mouth" of these can lift off the surface and touch down again, which would explain the observed breaks in the white streaks. (And we're probably seeing not just the white wake, but also sun reflecting off waves in the USO video.)
 

scombrid

Senior Member.

This video may not be of use but it is a cool video I found while looking for images of "dust devils" over water. It is a rather intense one in Denmark.
 

Ravi

Active Member
Ok, so my extremely helpful friend doesn't know it either but the dust devil video from @scombrid is pretty interesting. Quite a good candidate.
 

Gary McH-P

Member
My first thoughts are that it’s either fish or lake dwelling creature on the move, surfacing and then swimming or navigating around the sub-surface. Mick confirmed this is a freshwater lake, therefore this massively narrows down the options of species that could be inhabiting this lake. It does seem land-locked, although obviously fed by a tributary of unknown width and depth. Yet again we are let down by abysmal resolution of footage, which enhances every ripple and surface disturbance to suggest a larger creature and enhanced water surface disturbance than depicted. The key to me is the commentator-cameraman (who I will refer to as Beavis) noting on several occasions, along with his trusted eye witness (ie, without zoom) that there is a distinctive silhouette or presence underneath the surface. This I think should be accepted as a given. This is why I think this is something living in the lake.

From the best of answers, I‘m not sure that dust devils or water spouts can continue in such a random way, displaying meandering and sporadic tendencies for at least 7 + minutes. The footage abruptly ends at just over 7 minutes, but does it continue! The surface trail, although enhanced as it’s out of focus, is still a relatively long length compared to the lump of floating ice to the north of the lake. I sat 10 feet away from a dust devil on my land and at best it lasted 15 seconds.

So what’s living in this lake? The easiest answer would be whale or shark, as Norway-Sweden have a large contingent of these species that would easily fit the OP. The problem being they are marine not freshwater species. Hold on! Whales can easily survive in freshwater, but this site is remote, it’s very unlikely they could have even navigated to this remote location.

So Beavis is sure that it’s something on the move, sure that there is a presence sub-surface. I believe him.

I think this is a natural fish-cetacean movement, but what species, I need to do some homework. Perhaps a large school of fish surfacing in the spring like conditions. Perhaps a loan cetacean, trapped in the lake. In spring fish shoals can consist of thousands of fish, topping the surface and feeding on the newly hatched insects on the lake. Rudd in particular form large groups at the surface, topping and creating surface ripple.
 
That little dark lump to the right of it is land I assume? If so then the lakes prolly not that deep, and since its quite small I doubt it can support a large fish population, it does look like a school of fish chasing an insect swarm
Perhaps its an otter/s thats travelled overland

For fun I googled swedish cryptids, Theres also this (which I dot think it is) the video looks similar
Storsjöodjuret (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈstuːʂøːuˈjʉːrɛ], literally "The Great-Lake Monster") is a lake monster reported to live in the 300-foot-deep (91 m) lake Storsjön in Jämtland in the middle of Sweden.
https://cryptidz.fandom.com/wiki/Storsjöodjuret
 

gargamel

Member
The only larger aquatic species inhabiting these small, remote lakes on the Scandinavian kalfjäll (barren mountaneous regions, almost devoid of any vegetation except for small, specialized alpine plants, mosses and lichens) is arctic char. It's the only freshwater fish that can tolerate the cold water and extremely short ice-free season. Furthermore, in these rather nutrient-poor waters they tend to be "dwarf" forms of char, weighing a few pounds at most.

Many lakes up there lack fish altogether, only hosting tiny crustaceans and insect larvae. The local Sami people (with their fun language, hence the tongue-twister of a name the lake has) have in the past occasionally stocked otherwise empty lakes with char from elsewhere, as a resource.

On lower elevations, trout, grayling, burbot etc start showing up.

I'm inclined to agree with the loon hypothesis, loons (both arctic and red-throated) are fairly common up there. Other waterfowl seen in these lakes include long-tailed ducks and mergansers.

As noted already, the lake in the video is actually tiny, so the "wake" is too. It's just the lack of trees and other helpful indicators (and the awful picture quality) that make it look larger.
 
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gargamel

Member
That little dark lump to the right of it is land I assume? If so then the lakes prolly not that deep, and since its quite small I doubt it can support a large fish population, it does look like a school of fish chasing an insect swarm
Perhaps its an otter/s thats travelled overland

For fun I googled swedish cryptids, Theres also this (which I dot think it is) the video looks similar

https://cryptidz.fandom.com/wiki/Storsjöodjuret
Our "Nessie", indeed. Storsjön is a "normal" lake though, filled with the usual aquatic fauna, where the northern pike easily is the largest fish. Beavers and otters are also present there, so the "monster sightings" is almost certainly a mix of the three.

Nobody actually takes it seriously, a fun urban legend that is now just a mascot for the town of Östersund.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
As noted already, the lake in the video is actually tiny, so the "wake" is too.
Well, "tiny" is relative, but Storsjön is 500 times larger by area than Jiegŋajávrásj, and due to the greater depth, even more by volume.

When estimating wake size, note the considerable foreshortening.
image.jpeg
700m = 2300 ft. = 0.43 miles
450m = 1500 ft = 0.28 miles

Furthermore, in these rather nutrient-poor waters they tend to be "dwarf" forms of char, weighing a few pounds at most.
Article:
Arctic char has a distinct size dimorphism, dwarf and giant. Dwarf Arctic char weigh between 0.2 and 2.3 kg (7 oz and 5 lb 1 oz) and average a length of 8 cm (3 in), while giant Arctic char weigh between 2.3 and 4.5 kg (5 lb 1 oz and 9 lb 15 oz) and average 40 cm (16 in) in length.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
The white streaks we see could just be the foam of a wake that you'd normally see, but I think it's actually more than that.

In the upper part of this photo, we see a lake with a surface that appears white. This appears to be a sunlight reflection, and it's vertically in line with the area where the USO was spotted; the incident angle is simply more shallow. That means it shouldn't take much "tilt" of the water of the USO lake to cause a bright white sun reflection: any small wave would do it.

Therefore, even the parts of a wake that wouldn't normally look white are liable to show up shimmering bright white in this video, making the wake look much larger and wider than it normally would.
 

Ravi

Active Member
I am beginning to wonder weather it can be emission of natural gas. Like for instance methane..

Methane (CH4) is emitted from lakes by several processes: bubbles released from bottom sediments that reach the atmosphere (ebullition); spring release of CH4 trapped in bubbles in and under the ice during fall freeze (bubble release), and diffusion of CH4 from sediments to the surface. Each of these emission routes is highly variable over space and time, and episodic in the extreme, making reliable measurements difficult to carry out.

Source:
Methane emission from high latitude lakes: methane-centric lake classification and satellite-driven annual cycle of emissions
 

Matt33

Member
I am beginning to wonder weather it can be emission of natural gas. Like for instance methane..



Source:
Methane emission from high latitude lakes: methane-centric lake classification and satellite-driven annual cycle of emissions
That's what the original video poster assumed in a comment under his video. Methane bubbles are quite common, however they don't seem to be so vigorous like it appears in the video. Not many videos with methane bubbling up can be found. Here is one example, doesn't really look like it.

https://www.istockphoto.com/de/video/methan-gas-sprudelt-an-die-oberfläche-eines-sees-gm983815452-267017148

Another one:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM5WPl69Z18
 

Gary McH-P

Member
@gargamel, I did originally think that the movement and size of wake could be caused by the Wels Catfish, which can grow enormous and perfectly fit the OP, but I doubt that the lake could support these voracious predators. I do like the idea of beavers or otters though.

@Mendel, I thought that white patch at the top of the image is just a slab of floating ice?
 

gargamel

Member
@gargamel, I did originally think that the movement and size of wake could be caused by the Wels Catfish, which can grow enormous and perfectly fit the OP, but I doubt that the lake could support these voracious predators. I do like the idea of beavers or otters though.

Well, catfish is a warmth-loving species and while common in central and southern Europe, it's exceedingly rare in Scandinavia. It only occurs in two lakes and one river in southern Sweden these days and is closely monitored as it's protected by law.

The alpine lake in OP most likely only contains small arctic char, if any fish at all. It's not a large lake, the water is chillingly cold year around, it's nutrient-poor, the only inflow consists of glacial runoff.

Apart from certain waterfowl that enjoy this biotope, another possible candidate could be a reindeer swimming. Reindeers do venture up to these altitudes, but they rarely occur alone, only cross water if absolutely necessary, and do so in a straight line. Besides, you'd probably see some darker pixels indicating a head and/or back if that was the case.

Beavers and otters do not occur in these alpine lakes or adjacent glacial creeks but can be found at lower elevations where there's more vegetation and more fish. Other mammals that you can spot way up there apart from reindeer are arctic foxes (rare), hares, and a multitude of small rodents, lemmings first and foremost. Moose, bear, wolves, wolverines, roe deers etc do not venture above the treeline normally, but can be found in the more vegetated valleys below. Never say never, I suppose, but it'd be quite strange. The lack of darker pixels applies here too, as well.

There is a tiny population of muskox in the alpine border region between Sweden and Norway, but they're much further south, with one distinct group inside Norway's Dovrefjell and one group in Tänndalen in Sweden, and they're very closely monitored so there is absolutely no chance of any unexpected sighting this far away. I don't know if they ever go for such swims, anyway, and even if they do, something would indicate a large, dark animal like that I'd say.

So, my guess is still a bird, with help from the sun as @Mendel noted.
 
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Ravi

Active Member
The end of the video is more zoomed in, for those unaware.

Hard one to solve, it seems. How sure are we the video has not been tempered with? It is very small chance, but still.
 

gargamel

Member
Well, catfish is a warmth-loving species and while common in central and southern Europe, it's exceedingly rare in Scandinavia. It only occurs in two lakes and one river in southern Sweden these days and is closely monitored as it's protected by law.

The alpine lake in OP most likely only contains small arctic char, if any fish at all. It's not a large lake, the water is chillingly cold year around, it's nutrient-poor, the only inflow consists of glacial runoff.

Apart from certain waterfowl that enjoy this biotope, another possible candidate could be a reindeer swimming. Reindeers do venture up to these altitudes, but they rarely occur alone, only cross water if absolutely necessary, and do so in a straight line. Besides, you'd probably see some darker pixels indicating a head and/or back if that was the case.

Beavers and otters do not occur in these alpine lakes or adjacent glacial creeks but can be found at lower elevations where there's more vegetation and more fish. Other mammals that you can spot way up there apart from reindeer are arctic foxes (rare), hares, and a multitude of small rodents, lemmings first and foremost. Moose, bear, wolves, wolverines, roe deers etc do not venture above the treeline normally, but can be found in the more vegetated valleys below. Never say never, I suppose, but it'd be quite strange. The lack of darker pixels applies here too, as well.

There is a tiny population of muskox in the alpine border region between Sweden and Norway, but they're much further south, with one distinct group inside Norway's Dovrefjell and one group in Tänndalen in Sweden, and they're very closely monitored so there is absolutely no chance of any unexpected sighting this far away. I don't know if they ever go for such swims, anyway, and even if they do, something would indicate a large, dark animal like that I'd say.

So, my guess is still a bird, with help from the sun as @Mendel noted.
BTW, I just must add something.

A young muskox "bull" from the Tänndalen group went "rogue" and left the flock a couple of years ago, and it caused immediate headlines in Swedish media. One animal, diverting from the place where they usually are, "straying" a few kilometers away. Boom, headlines everywhere.

Wels catfish, same thing there. When the occasional "stray" is discovered in waters adjacent to the ones they're known to inhabit -- headlines. Or at least lots of talk in the biology circles I frequent. We're talking about a few kilometers here, waters connected to their known habitat, and that still generates a lot of talk.

Catfish has never been seen north of Lake Mälaren, never ever in historical memory, and the northernmost catfish population in the world (in Lake Båven, which is still south of Stockholm itself, and elevation-wise near-sea level, in the borderlands of the northern temperate climate zone, right where it transitions to the circumpolar taiga) is still like a thousand kilometers south of OP's desolate alpine lake near the Arctic circle, which is at almost 1000M ASL to boot, making it even more extreme up there. There is simply no way in hell.

With that out of the way: There is a very popular Swedish hiking trail that goes past the eastern shores of the OP lake, and I assume there is one in Norway too, since the original video is taken from the Norwegian side. I've been googling my butt off in both Norwegian and Swedish, and haven't found any mention of anything mysterious this little, cold, shallow glacial lake. Thousands of people pass by this area each year.
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
I've been googling my butt off in both Norwegian and Swedish, and haven't found any mention of anything mysterious this little, cold, shallow glacial lake. Thousands of people pass by this area each year.
That kinda supports my idea that the sun has to be in a specific part of the sky for the small waves to stand out so brightly from the viewpoint on the footpath.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
There is a very popular Swedish hiking trail that goes past the eastern shores of the OP lake, and I assume there is one in Norway too, since the original video is taken from the Norwegian side. I've been googling my butt off in both Norwegian and Swedish, and haven't found any mention of anything mysterious this little, cold, shallow glacial lake. Thousands of people pass by this area each year.
My second thought (after what dismal resolution it is, even for 2012)
was that the clip had been up for over 9 years, and yet there were only 130
comments. So, while it's difficult to pin down, it doesn't appear that many
people thought it was anything extraordinary.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
the clip had been up for over 9 years, and yet there were only 130
comments.
The clip only has ~22k views, that's a fair number of comments. Youtube didn't keep recommending the clip, so "over 9 years" is not necessarily indicative of anything. You can see by the dates on the comments that it seemingly got picked up somewhere about 4 months ago.

I might have to revise my sun idea, the video was supposedly taken around 11 am, so the sun might be a bit too southerly?
Article:
image.jpeg

Coordinates: 67.87858 N, 16.72317 W
Azimuth of the sun: 144.17° (9° South of SW)
Elevation of the sun: 35.79°

This is for 11:00, at 9:00 azimuth and elevation were 112° and 27°.

Altitude of Lake: 750m
Altitude of camera: 1050-1150m (peakfinder confirmation of the location would help)
Distance: 1800-2000m
400/2000m puts the lake at ~11° depression.

The sun is higher than I thought. Hmmm.
 

gargamel

Member
Moose, bear, wolves, wolverines, roe deers etc do not venture above the treeline normally, but can be found in the more vegetated valleys below. Never say never, I suppose, but it'd be quite strange. The lack of darker pixels applies here too, as well.
It seems moose do cross these barren mountaineous areas between valleys. Was watching a 1940's documentary about the Swedish alpine region just now, and they filmed moose way up in the snowy, treeless regions, when migrating toward new pastures.

The other caveats still apply of course, but I stand corrected: Moose do go up there occassionally, and moose often swim.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
What I've been too lazy to do so far is to transfer this motion to a map and figure out the speeds involved. I don't believe a swimming moose would be fast enough.
 
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