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GIANT MARMITES (jettegryte)
Of the word jette, means giant, and gryte means marmites. It is a smooth, even and slippery cylinder formed depression/hollow in the mountain surface. A giant marmite is a round hollow in the mountain, made in a melt water river. The water takes sand and stones in a rotating motion, and digs a hole into the mountain. The giant marmites can get up to several meters wide and deep.

Giant marmite filled with stone, branches and sand.    Giant marmite with light. Hole made from one small stone, that made its way through to the other side.   Perfect cylinder form

The from of the Giant marmite looks like a marmite and people thought that the trolls and giants made them and used them to make food. There for the name Giant marmite.

In Norway most of the giant marmites were created at the end of the last ice age. Mostly by the coast side when the sea level stood higher than today. They where also created under the ice masses where the melt water had made rivers or where the water went over a precipices in the ice. That is why many giant marmites lies on the west coast, but far inland, fare away from today's rivers. On the coast, giant marmites are still created.

   Rests of a giant marmite by the sea side.

The giant marmites can get more than 20 meters deep and 7-8 m wide. Several marmites can lie one after the other a long a riverside. Today you can find them next to rivers where the stream is strong, by waterfalls and by the sea side, where the water takes good hold on stones and gravel and rubs it around and around. In the marmites walls you can se spiral traces or hollows towards the bottom. The water has rotated stones down towards the bottom-line and then come up again in the middle. Where the mountain is of an softer stone art, Fylitt, there are more giant marmites.

Surprisingly you find giant marmites where there is no water at all. Because of the ice and gravel, the fresh water had to find other ways/routes to the sea than we know today. Perhaps the heavy salt water had penetrated the hollows in the ice and blocked for the fresh water to come out. Sometimes you can find marmites on quite flat landscape. That can mean that the ice laid heavily here and the water had to make its way through ice and stone between small cracks. The marmites tells us where the melt water from snow and ice has found its way.

Giant marmite by the sea side.    The perfect circle.    Stone stuck in its own marmite. Hjertøya, Molde.

Near by Oslo, more precisely Kongshavn north of Bekkelaget, there were about 20 beautiful giant marmites, but the had to go to make a new road, but there are still some left. One giant marmite, 13 meters deep, 2,5 meters wide, by Bekkelaget, was emptied for stone and sand by Egil Schjelderup and opened for public in spring 1993. An other marmite, with a lid on it, is located in the basement of a restaurant. The biggest giant marmite is situated in Espedalen in the county of Oppland. It is the second chamber of Hell, 40 meters in  diameter and 100 meters deep.

Many giant marmites are created during the end of last ice age, most probably about 10 000 years ago. There are certainly many marmites jet to be discovered, but are covered by sand, earth, ling and trees and are not exposed to mans eye.



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 Revised/Opdateret 29-03-2010 - Contact us

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