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This Danish artist has hidden giant, recycled wooden trolls across the world - can you find all 100?

"Måne Mor" is in a hidden location somewhere in the world
"Måne Mor" is in a hidden location somewhere in the world Copyright AFP
Copyright AFP
By Hannah Brown
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There’s a giant troll made of recycled wood to be found somewhere in the world.

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Danish artist Thomas Dambo is known for using recycled wood to create large, ambitious sculptures.

After constructing 99 wooden trolls across Denmark, Belgium, Germany, the USA, Puerto Rico and South Korea, he’s just added a 100th to the series. But it’s in a mystery location. 

To find the 100th troll you have to find all 99 others first. Could this be the world’s biggest treasure hunt?

Where can I find the trolls?

Thomas Dambo has created a complex treasure hunt to find ‘Moon Mother’, his 100th troll sculpture of a pregnant mother, who he says has "crawled into the most secret spot in the forest" to give birth.

His giant figures are inspired by Scandinavian folk tales. They are often located off the beaten track to tempt children and adults to venture out into nature, and to show what you can do with recycled materials.

"I hope that my art can be a part of the movement that shows people that trash is not disgusting and it's not worthless and it's not something you should just burn,” explains Dambo.

“It's something that has the value to bring thousands of people out to find it as a treasure at the end of a treasure hunt."

Dambo’s sculptures have been visited by about 10 million people, he says. Each one is unique, with its own name, design and personality.

How to complete the treasure hunt

To find Moon Mother, known in Danish as ‘Måne Mor’, fans will have to piece together codes on the plaques next to his first 99 trolls across the world. Though they can be found in many countries, the majority are in the US and Dambo’s native Denmark. 

Dambo spent nine years constructing the trolls and wanted to do something a little different for the 100th.

"I decided to make a super secret one and make it an intricate treasure hunt that leads you around all the other ones I've made through the years," he says.

Once fans have found all the codes, a riddle will reveal the location of the new troll.

"It's a little bit cryptical, a little bit hard," Dambo admits.

How does Thomas Dambo construct his trolls?

Dambo’s works are made almost entirely of recycled materials. The face of Moon Mother, for instance, is made from oak scraps from a Danish flooring company.

"I like to build all my things out of trash because I think that trash is a treasure," Dambo says.

During the construction of his 100th piece, Dambo went to extreme lengths to keep the site a secret. He didn’t even tell his own team the exact location until the final stages.

He also made his team use a different path for access every day so as not to leave tracks and attract any visitors.

Some of the locations of Dambo’s trolls are in remote wilderness and have required his team to transport all the materials by hand to location for construction.

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Watch the video above to see more of Dambo’s trolls.

Video editor • Hannah Brown

Additional sources • AFP

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