Temporal range: Eocene to Holocene?, 55.8-0 Ma


Artist's impression of Pachyrhachis

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Sauropsida


Suborder: Serpentes
Infraorder: Booidea
Superfamily: Alethinophidia
Family: Palaeophiidae
Subfamily: Palaeopheinae
Genus: Palaeophis Owen, 1841
  • P. casei
  • P. colossaeus
  • P. ferganicus
  • P. grandis
  • P. littoralis
  • P. maghrebianus
  • P. nessovi
  • P. tamdy
  • P. toliapicus
  • P. udovickenkoi
  • P. virginianus

Palaeophis ('ancient snake') is a prehistoric genus of snake from Denmark. The sea-dwelling creature was initially thought to have been the largest snake ever, reaching the almost mythical length of 30–40 m (100–133 ft), but recent estimates put its length at about 9 m (30 ft), about as long as the modern green anaconda and reticulated python. One species, P. casei, was rather tiny, however.[1]


In 2011, on the island of Mors in Limfjorden, Denmark, scientists from Konstakademins Konservatorskola, Geologiska Muséet and Moler Muséet, discovered vertebrae from a previously unknown species of giant sea snakes in marine sediments where fossil skeletons from fish and teeth from sharks also were found. The results will be published in the Bulletin de la Societé Géologique de France magazine.[1]


Palaeophis was far bigger than it's relatives, Pythons and Boas. The characteristic form of the snake is known from other species of sea snakes and which makes life in the sea easier.


This giant sea snake swam in the Danish and Scandinavian seas and was probably a feared predator. Palaeophis is closely related to Pythons and Boas.

Modern survivorsEdit

Through the ages, all the way from the ancient times of the Viking Age to the very modern day, there have been several tales and reports in Sweden, and other parts of Scandinavia, of giant snakes roaming the lakes, sea, and the forests. These old tales and modern reports could indicate that surviving relatives of Palaeophis could still be alive, and even endangered.


Lindworms (Lindormar / Hjulormar / Vitormar) are legendary beasts which have been told to exist since the Viking Age and until very recently. These animals are said to be giant dangerous snakes or serpents. There is even supposed to be evidence of these giant snakes in old storehouses, in Härjedalen and Hälsingland, since vertebrae of these snakes are said to have been used to build these wooden storehouses.

Storsjöodjuret captured on tape01:41

Storsjöodjuret captured on tape

The Great Lake MonsterEdit

The Great Lake Monster (originally "Storsjöodjuret") is a lake monster said to inhabit the Great Lake (Storsjön) around Östersund and Frösön in Jämtland, Sweden. Many sightings report it to resemble a snake or serpent with a long neck or body covered in shiny, scaly skin, and with the head of either a snake, a lizard, a dragon, a dinosaur, a dog, a horse, or a cat. Some animalian explanations for this creature are giant snakes (such as Palaeophis

The Iceland Worm Monster (Lagarfljóts Worm) Caught on Camera Original00:31

The Iceland Worm Monster (Lagarfljóts Worm) Caught on Camera Original

The Lagarfljóts WormEdit

The Lagarfljóts Worm (Lagarfljótsormurin) is a lake monster said to inhabit lakes on Iceland. It is said to resemble a giant snake, serpent, or worm.

Sea SerpentsEdit

Sea Serpents are giant snake or serpent like creatures said to inhabit the seas over Scandinavia.




External linksEdit

  • [1] Videnskab dk, Ælgammelt havslange-fossil funnet på Mors

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