Sea monster found off Sweden – and archaeologists are thrilled.

Denmark’s The Local shares the excitement of discovering a 400-year-old dragon – a figurehead from a Danish ship – that has been hidden in the sea since the 1500s:

The wooden face, which resembles a monster or a large grinning dog, had been lying on a seabed off the southern Swedish town of Ronneby for more than five centuries.

It is thought to have broken off from the Gribhunden ship, commissioned by King Hans, who ruled Denmark from 1481 to 1513. The ship sunk after a fire.

Marcus Sandekejer from Blekinge museum, which is set to put the discovery on display later this month, told The Local on Wednesday: “This figurehead is probably the only one left from a 15th century ship in the world.”

He said it was a “fantastic feeling” watching expert archaeologists lift the creature out of the water.

“520 years under water….and in such a great condition!”

The museum is now on a mission to preserve the wooden animal as best as possible.

It will spend the next three months in a bath of sugar water, designed to remove the salt it has absorbed from the sea, by osmosis.

Photos of the massive thing – it weighs more than 600 pounds – are at the link.