The Rusalki from Slavic mythology were figures who emerged from rivers and lakes during the start of spring. Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Andrey Shishkin

In 2018, an eight-year-old girl in Sweden pulled out a 1,500-year-old sword from a lake near her family’s holiday home. The incident was so reminiscent of Arthurian legend, social media dubbed her the new queen of Sweden.

Click start to play today’s Word Search, and find as many lakes as you can.

From the Lady of the Lake to Loch Ness monsters, lakes have been at the centre of a range of tales from around the world. Even today, archaeologists still find valuable objects in lakes that were once held sacred by the local people.

Here are a few folktales to know:

1. The Rusalki

The rusalki of Slavic mythology had benevolent origins before the 19th century. They were figures who emerged from rivers and lakes during the start of spring – they helped nurture the crops, by watering them as they passed. Women once hung offerings of scarves and linen on forest trees, in the hopes of appeasing them. But as time passed, the legends of the rusalki took on a darker shade. They became known as dangerous beings, and their origin stories changed: people believed they were either young women who had committed suicide, or who had met their death by murder or drowning in the lake. They were thought to live out their days as rusalki until the point that they would have died – had they lived out their natural lives. Some tales painted them as women who would lure young men into the water to drown them – the only way they could be stopped was to have someone avenge their death and undo the wrong committed against them (there was usually a story of runaway bridegrooms, abusive husbands or something else, in the rusalki’s tragic past).

2. Loch Ness monster

The Loch Ness Monster
The Loch Ness Monster Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Marmaduke Arundel "Duke" Wetherell

The modern-day legend of the Loch Ness monster was born when a local couple in Inverness, Scotland, sighted “an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface” of a lake. It made the news on May 2, 1933, when the Inverness Courier published a story on the couple’s account, and within days, went viral – London newspapers began sending correspondents to Scotland, and a circus offered a 20,000 pounds sterling reward for the capture of the mythical beast. Even though no one has found conclusive evidence of the Loch Ness monster truly existing, tourists and investigators still continue to pursue it with much enthusiasm.

3. Lady of the Lake

There are several ‘ladies of the lake’ mentioned in Arthurian legend, but the most well-known one was a mysterious woman named Viviane or Nimue, who kidnapped Sir Lancelot as a child, only to later cure him of his madness. She was also the one who gave King Arthur his magical sword, Excalibur. Legend has it that the Lady of the Lake lived in a castle beneath a lake surrounding the mystical island of Avalon. King Arthur’s magician Merlin fell in love with her, but she did not return his affection – she did however, persuade him to teach her some of his magic, which she used to imprison him in a tower with invisible walls. Elusive, beautiful, villainous and powerful, the Lady of the Lake has inspired many artists in various media over the centuries. For instance, Scottish historian Sir Walter Scott retold her story in the famous 1810 poem, The Lady of the Lake, which later became the basis of an opera by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini.

What do you think of these tales surrounding lakes? Play today’s Word Search and tell us at