The Lagarfljótsormur, Iceland’s Lake Monster

Ah, Iceland.

I’ve seriously developed a fascination with this country over the past few months. It’s just an incredibly interesting place. Wicked geology. Elves.

And oh, look, it even has its own lake monster.

The Lagarfljótsormurinn, or the Lagarfljót Worm, is said to be a cryptid that inhabits Lagarfljót, a lake in the eastern town of Egilsstaðir.

It’s comparable to Scotland’s Loch Ness, though less snake-like, and was first mentioned within the Icelandic Annals of 1345 (which are, simply put, records of noteworthy events, also containing sagas and other such literature).

Icelandic folklore tells the story of a young girl who placed a tiny worm upon a golden ring to make the ring grow:

“When the owner of the ring returned she noticed to her great terror that the worm had grown immensely but not the gold. She tossed the ring and worm into Lagarfljót where the worm continued to grow.”

A quote from the Icelandic Annals describes the creature:

“There appeared a wonderful thing in the Lagarfljót, which is believed to have been a living animal. At some times it seemed like a great island, and at others, there appeared humps several hundred fathoms apart, with water between them. No one knows the dimensions of the creature, for none saw its head or tail, consequently there is no certainty as to what it was.”

Sightings of the creature have occurred ever since, the most recent being just this month on February 2, 2012.

The February Sighting of the Lagarfljót Worm

An Icelander named Hjörtur Kjerúlf captured video of what he claims is the beast, though I have my reservations. At most, it looks like a strange ice flow, and even then (in my opinion) too serpentine and thin to be the creature of Icelandic myth. Some believe it’s simply an object being pulled by a string, or perhaps a fishing net.

Update February 14, 2012 – Mystery solved? Check out the article Icelandic River Monster Mystery Solved for a fairly conclusive examination of this strange video. According to Live Science, the “creature’s” behavior is “consistent with an ice-caked fishing net or piece of cloth.”


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.

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