Denmark Government Grants $430K To PhD Student To Investigate The Existence Of Mythical Underground Trolls

It’s one thing to make epic, mega-budget movies about legendary mythical creatures, but it’s an entirely different matter when you try to prove their existence in the real world. What’s even stranger is using government money to do so. However, a PhD student is about to embark on the journey to try and confirm the existence of underground trolls.

While Denmark’s economy may not be in its prime, it hasn’t stopped the northern country’s Council for Independent Research (DFF) from awarding 2.5 million Danish kroner ($430,000) in grant money to a study that investigates the existence of underground trolls. The receiver of the grant is Lars Christian Kofoed Rømer, a PhD student and part-time anthropology lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, reported the Daily Mail.

Lars has spent two years studying ghost activity, and with his freshly topped-up account, he now plans to research “actual relationships” between humans and trolls on the Danish island of Bornholm, reported RT. The troll in question – Krølle Bølle – is the national troll of the island. He has enjoyed a huge fan base ever since his legend was devised by writer Ludvig Mahler in 1946. But many speculate that though the legend of Krølle Bølle is fairly recent, it is in fact based on an underground being that has fleeting mention in many historic texts.

Lars wants to explore the impact of the folk tale on the physical environment of the island. Having extensively studied ghosts earlier, he has chosen to move on to trolls. However, what’s astonishing, besides the seemingly insane grant money to study a mythical creature, is the fact that nine PhD projects of the same cost will be funded. But Lars has a slightly different, albeit palpable justification for spending this amount of money.

“It should not be a discussion about whether the underground exists or not, but a story about how we are attached to a place.”

Backing his research, DFF Chairman Peter Munk Christiansen expressed his confidence that the study is going to be a very useful one.

“At DFF, we believe that humanistic research should be funded on equal footing with all other research areas and we actually support that area more than we support societal research. We profess a pluralism and broad coverage – we don’t just pursue things that are the most popular right now.”

He certainly has a valid point, since Bornholm is well-known for its flourishing tourism industry, which is mostly centered on the belief that the island is inhabited by trolls who live underground and come out at night. Krølle Brølle, who is “small and cute” and lives with his troll family on Langebjerg, and comes out at night to have “many exciting adventures,” is in fact a national troll of the country.

[Image Credit | Noget om Mad]