Skvader: Uncovering the Truth


We’re delighted to introduce the fascinating world of mythical creatures, with a specific focus on the Skvader. This unique creature is deeply rooted in Swedish folklore and provides a captivating look into the country’s rich history of storytelling traditions. The Skvader, a peculiar mix of a European hare and a female wood grouse, piques the curiosity of both native Swedes and folklore enthusiasts across the globe.

The Skvader’s tale dates back to 1918, when taxidermist Rudolf Granberg created the very first Skvader, inspired by an illustration of a hunter’s tall tale. Since then, this hybrid creature has become a popular symbol of Swedish mythology and can be seen on permanent display at the museum at Norra Berget in Sundsvall.

As we delve into the enchanting world of Nordic legends, it’s important to remember that such tales play an essential role in preserving cultural history and weaving a rich tapestry of shared experiences. The Skvader’s story is but one unique example, inviting us to explore and celebrate the diverse world of folklore and mythology.

The Origin of Skvader

Rudolf Granberg and Taxidermy

In 1918, a Swedish taxidermist named Rudolf Granberg created the Skvader, a fictional creature that has the forequarters and hind legs of a European hare and the back, wings, and tail of a female wood grouse. Granberg’s creation was inspired by an old Swedish hunting story from 1874, which was brought to life through his skills in taxidermy. We can see the remarkable craftsmanship involved, and the Skvader is still displayed today at the museum at Norra Berget in Sundsvall.

The Painting and the Housekeeper

The story behind the Skvader originated from a painting that depicted the mythical creature. The painting was done by a nephew of a Swedish man named Håkan Dahlmark, who shared the bizarre hunting story with his family. The nephew decided to turn the tale into a visual representation. A housekeeper who worked for the family later discovered the painting and mistook it for a real animal. The story intrigued her and, unaware of its true origin, she passed it along through the local community.


The original Swedish hunting story from 1874 tells of a man who claimed to have encountered and shot the Skvader while hunting. The creature was described as having the features of both a hare and a wood grouse, creating a unique and memorable image in the minds of those who heard the tale. This combination of species naturally sparked curiosity, and the story became popular in Sweden, leading to the creation of the Skvader taxidermy and further spreading its legend.

Through Granberg’s taxidermy, the nephew’s painting, and the housekeeper’s mistaken belief in the creature’s reality, the Skvader captured the imagination of many and became a lasting symbol in Swedish folklore.

Physical Description and Features


Hare and Wood Grouse

The Skvader is a fascinating mythical creature, combining the physical features of a hare (Lepus Europaeus) and a wood grouse (Tetrao urogallus). Our description encompasses the unique attributes of both species.

From the front, the Skvader resembles a European hare, with its long ears, powerful hind legs, and a small, twitching nose. Hares are known for their speed, jumping abilities, and agility. The hindquarters of the Skvader, however, possess the plumage and fan-shaped tail of a male wood grouse, also known as a tjäder. This large, majestic bird is characterized by its iridescent blue-black feathers and prominent red eyebrows.

While the Skvader’s unusual combination of features might initially seem odd, closer observation reveals its striking appearance as a plausible mix of the two species’ physical traits. By melding the hare’s agile form with the intricate beauty of the wood grouse’s feathers, the Skvader represents a unique fusion of two of Europe’s most recognizable animals.

Latin Name

A descriptive binomial nomenclature is often assigned to mythical creatures, providing them a Latin name that combines aspects of their appearance, behavior, or origin. In the case of the Skvader, the Latin name Tetrao lepus pseudo-hybridus rarissimus L draws upon characteristics of its dual nature as part hare and part wood grouse.

Breaking down the Latin name, we find the following components:

  • Tetrao: Derived from the wood grouse’s genus Tetrao, referencing the bird’s influence in the Skvader’s composition.
  • Lepus: Stemming from the hare’s genus Lepus, emphasizing the mammalian aspect of this hybrid creature.
  • Pseudo-hybridus: A combination of the prefix “pseudo-“, meaning false or not genuine, and the root “hybrid”, denoting the intersection of two distinct species. This term highlights the Skvader’s mythical nature as an artificially combined creature.
  • Rarissimus: A Latin term meaning “very rare,” describing the scarcity and uniqueness of this fantastical creature.
  • L: This initial represents the Skvader’s hypothetical status in the Linnaean taxonomic system.

As we delve into the intriguing world of the Skvader, appreciating the richness of its physical description and unique Latin name, we gain a deeper understanding of its place in European folklore as a captivating blend of two exceptional wildlife species.

In Popular Culture and Symbolism

Hoax and Tall Tale Hunting Story

The Skvader is a Swedish fictional creature that came into existence as a taxidermy hoax in 1918. It was created by Rudolf Granberg, a taxidermist who combined the skins of a European hare and a capercaillie, resulting in a winged hare. This peculiar creature is deeply rooted in a tall tale hunting story from the late 19th century. Since then, the Skvader has gained popularity and become an unofficial symbol of Sundsvall, a Swedish city in the province of Medelpad.

Related Fictional Creatures

The Skvader is not the only fictional creature to have originated from a combination of real animals. There are several other creatures with similar features, such as the Jackalope, Rasselbock, Wolpertinger, and Elwedritsche, all of which have been the subjects of tall tales, hoaxes, and folkloric legends to varying degrees.

Jackalope: This popular North American creature is believed to be a rabbit or hare with antler-like horns, often pictured as a jackrabbit with antelope antlers. The term “jackalope” itself is a blend of the words “jackrabbit” and “antelope.” Like the Skvader, the Jackalope has its origins in tall tale hunting stories and hoax taxidermy.

Rasselbock: The Rasselbock is a legendary animal native to the Ore Mountains in Germany. It is said to have the body of a hare and the antlers of a roe deer. Similar to the Skvader, the Rasselbock appears in tall hunting stories and is often associated with local folklore.

Wolpertinger: This German mythical creature is said to inhabit the alpine forests of Bavaria. It’s often described as a mix of various animals, such as a rabbit, squirrel, and bird, with antlers or horns. While it is not as widely known as the Jackalope or Skvader, the Wolpertinger shares their origins in tall tale hunting stories and hoax taxidermy.

Elwedritsche: The Elwedritsche is a mythical creature hailing from the Palatinate region of Germany. It is typically depicted as a small, bird-like creature with a distorted beak, rabbit-like fur, and antlers. Like its counterparts, the Elwedritsche has been a subject of tall tales and hoaxes throughout history.

The Skvader has become an icon of popular culture and symbolism in Sweden. Its history as a hoax and tall tale hunting story has bolstered its notoriety, leading the Skvader to become an unofficial symbol of Sundsvall. The Skvader is also a prime example of how such creatures have inspired interesting legends, hoaxes, and stories throughout history across various cultures.

Skvader in Museums and Exhibitions

In a local museum at Norra Berget in Sundsvall, they have a fascinating display of a unique creature known as the Skvader. The Skvader is a mythical Swedish creature that has the forequarters and hind legs of a European hare, combined with the back, wings, and tail of a female wood grouse. It was constructed in 1918 by taxidermist Rudolf Granberg, who skillfully combined the skins of these two animals to create this interesting piece.

This particular Skvader exhibit can be found at the museum at Norra Berget, which is located in the province of Medelpad. Over the years, it has become a very popular exhibition item, attracting both tourists and locals alike. In fact, the Skvader has since been seen as an unofficial symbol of the region. When Medelpad was to be given a provincial animal in 1987, many locals voted for the Skvader to be the chosen mascot.

The dedicated museum staff, including the manager and the exhibition team, work tirelessly to maintain and preserve the Skvader for future generations to admire. On special occasions, such as the site’s birthday or significant anniversaries, we have been known to organize extra events and activities to celebrate this unique piece of our cultural heritage.

Additionally, visitors to the Biologiska Museet, another museum located in Sundsvall, may also find information about the Skvader and its history. This museum features a variety of Swedish fauna, so it is fitting to include the Skvader as part of their collections.

Overall, they take pride in the curatorship of the Skvader, sharing its fascinating history and unique physical features with the community and tourists visiting the area.

Contemporary References and Internet Presence

In recent years, the Skvader has gained popularity and recognition through various references and mentions on the internet. The Skvader, a mythical creature from Swedish folklore, is a combination of a European hare and a wood grouse, specifically found in the Norrland region. The creature’s origin can be traced back to a taxidermy piece created by a Swedish hunter named Håkan Dahlmark, who donated his creation to the local museum in Lunde Skog.

With the advent of the internet, the Skvader has garnered a new level of attention and interest. A simple search can lead one to numerous articles, illustrations, and even animated videos featuring this unique creature. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram also showcase Skvader’s increased presence, with users frequently sharing and discussing this peculiar chimera.

The Skvader’s presence in contemporary culture extends beyond the digital realm. References to the creature can be found in various physical locations. For example, the Swedish Academy’s Dictionary, Svenska Akademiens Ordbok, includes an entry for the Skvader, acknowledging its place in the country’s folklore. Furthermore, travelers may encounter the Skvader in places like London and Bavaria, where one might find it featured in art exhibitions, museums, or local legends.

Another interesting aspect of Skvader’s internet presence is the engagement and participation of enthusiasts. These individuals often create fan art, write stories, and partake in discussions, sharing their interpretations and thoughts about this folkloric creature. They also stay connected through online communities and groups dedicated to the Skvader, providing a platform for contact and exchange among fans of this intriguing myth.

In conclusion, the Skvader’s presence and acknowledgment in contemporary culture can be attributed to both traditional references and the increasing exposure through internet platforms. This combination has ensured that the legend of the Skvader remains alive and well for future generations to discover and appreciate.

Final Thoughts


As we look back on the history of the Skvader, it’s fascinating to see how this taxidermist’s chimera has become an important cultural symbol in Sundsvall and the province of Medelpad in Sweden. With the front end of a mountain hare and the back end of a capercaillie, this mythical creature exemplifies the creativity and humor of those who crafted it.

The Skvader’s origin dates back to 1918 when a skilled taxidermist named Rudolf Granberg created the first specimen. This winged hare was crafted based on an illustration of a hunter’s tall tale from 1874, which depicts the creature as both intriguing and amusing. Today, we can still marvel at Granberg’s original masterpiece, preserved at a museum in Sundsvall.

In celebration of its unofficial status as a symbol of Sundsvall, the Skvader has found a special place in the hearts of locals. In 1987, when the province of Medelpad was to be given a provincial animal, many residents voted for the Skvader to represent their region. Although the final choice was a compromise with the mountain hare, the Skvader’s unique front half, it’s evident that the community holds this fantastic creature dear.

In our exploration of the Skvader, we hope to have given you a glimpse into the imaginative world of Swedish folklore and the value of preserving cultural symbols.

Chris Beckett

Chris Becket is an author and amateur "cryptozoologist" who is obsessed with finding the truth about Bigfoot and other mysterious creatures. He's spent countless hours (and probably a few too many dollars) studying and investigating reports of strange animals and phenomena, and he's convinced he's an expert on everything from Bigfoot to the Yeti.

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