The Right Rev. Erich Pontoppidan’s natural history of Norway : 1755.
The Danish-Norwegian, Right Rev.d, Erich Pontoppidan (1698 – 1764), was Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Copenhagen as well as an author & a Lutheran Bishop of the Church of Norway in Bergen. He was also a historian and an antiquarian. His legacy to the planet is thought be his Catechism of the Church of Denmark which heavily influenced Danish and Norwegian religious thought and practice for two centuries after its publication in 1737.
If you were thinking of a hike around Norway in 1755, Erich’s Natural History of Norway, (“Containing a particular and accurate account of the temperature of the air,the different soils, waters, vegetables, metals, minerals, stones, beasts, birds, and fishes : together with the dispositions, customs, and manner of living of the inhabitants : interspersed with physiological notes from eminent writers, and transactions of academics : in two parts.”) saves yourself the trouble.
Before Pontoppidan wrote his Natural History of Norway the sea serpent was a firmly established folk belief in Scandinavia. Pontoppidan changed that. In the book he wrote of “the Mer-maid, the great sea snake, of several hundred feet long, and the Krake(n) whose uncommon size seems to exceed belief.” His avocacy of for these creatures caught the popular imagination of the world. Erich’s sea serpent in particular, really took off as a global mystery & lit the fuse of a cryptozoological debate that would rage on through the 18th and 19th centuries and continue on into the 20th & 21st.