Top 10 of the most stylish Icelandic legends, to be more cultured

Iceland is not only Fjords, hot springs, endless straight lines, or liquor stores that close at 6 p.m. sharp, it’s also a lot of myths and legends to pass on the Raelians for real Cartesians. And if we all already wanted to go live in Iceland (yes, even you, I assure you), here is one more reason.

1. Álfhól dollhouses

You probably think that people who build small cabins for their pets are slightly disturbed… We hardly dare to tell you what some Icelanders are able to do for the well-being of passing Elves. They simply make small wooden houses for them and sometimes go so far as to add mini churches to them, in case the idea comes to an elf to convert to Christianity. Not dumb! The Alfhol can also be represented by doors drawn on rocks, because yes, in Iceland rocks are inhabited. Finally not all, the real estate market would not be in very good shape at the moment.

2. The Dimmuborgir Legend

May death metal fans calm down and stop shaking their necks up and down unnecessarily. Dimmuborgir is not only a group with guttural vocalizations, it is also the name given to a famous Icelandic volcanic formation in the Lake Myvatn region. From a distance, these lava columns look like a dark castle (the meaning of Dimmuborgir in Icelandic), with its porches and windows looming over the horizon. And the imagination does not stop in such a good way since according to local legend, the place would be one of the gateways to the Underworld. It would also be in the area that a giantess named Gryla would have lived with her third husband Leppaluoi, both known to kidnap children who had not been good every Christmas.

3. Trolual, the Icelandic Loch Ness monster

There’s no reason for the Scots to have a monopoly on legendary sea monsters. In Iceland, we talk about the presence of the Trolual in the Norwegian Sea, that is, at the wet finger, between the Faroe Islands and Iceland. Evil gossips say that it would really only be a whale, except that to fuck a sperm whale, generally, one does not need to call on a hero riding a flying hippopotamus, as described in the story of the sixteenth century Alector or the rooster ! Ah and also for the anecdote, the term Trolual would be a contraction of Troll and Wal (whale): a troll whale, that’s a real monster, not like this freaking Scottish sea serpent.

4. The Hrosshveli

This creature is as difficult to pronounce as it is to describe. Also known as Hrosshvalur, it is said to be a kind of horse whale (nightmare vision) that rages in the choppy waters that surround Iceland. These sea monsters would take pleasure in hitting the surface of the water with their enormous tail (of a horse) thus causing immense waves capable of capsizing the largest ships. A theory that the Trump administration is currently considering.

5. The trolls of Vík

Be careful, not to be confused with Vic the Viking, the cartoon of the 80s. Here, we are dealing with good old trolls who would hide on the side of the magnificent black sand beaches of Vik. Looking out to sea you will see rock formations called Reynisdrangar. Don’t trust your senses, as they are actually trolls turned to stone as they tried to run down a passing 3-mast.

6. Skogafoss Hidden Chest

Located just 150 km from Reykjavic, Skogafoss waterfall is one of the best known in Iceland. Moreover, we see it in sound 3 of the Vikings series, when Floki fails on the island and begins to have a bad trip. In short, know that the legend says that behind this wall of water 60 meters high and 25 wide, there is a chest full of treasure. A child would once have managed to put his hand in it. You can even take a look at his loot in the Skogar Folk Museum. If you find the rest of the treasure, remember to bring it back to the museum, you’ll be cute.

7. Huldufólk, or the hidden people

The huldufolk are the name given to creatures like elves, dwarves (those with axes, not those of TF1 or Fort Boyard), spirits etc and form what Icelanders call the hidden people. These would actually be the children that Eve refused to show God because of their differences. God, to whom it was not done, decided, in retaliation, that the latter would remain invisible to the sight of men. According to a survey carried out in 2006, more than 55% of the inhabitants of the island= believe in the existence of these small creatures… In addition it is good for tourism. This belief is so well established that it often happens that certain roads are diverted on the advice of mediums, in order to circumvent areas inhabited by these mystical creatures.

8. Volcanoes and the end of the world (Ragnarök)

Do you really believe that Ragnar Lobdrok in Vikings is called that by chance? In fact, its name is inspired by the Nordic legend Ragnarök, which announces the end of the world, a kind of apocalypse with Nordic sauce. To put it simply, the latter predicts the annihilation of the world by flames, before being engulfed by the ocean and then reborn from its ashes. Result: each time an Icelandic volcano with an unpronounceable name erupts, it’s an opportunity to bring out this old story for the children, insisting on the fact that Odin (who nevertheless got eaten by a wolf, this idiot) is visibly pissed and that everyone had better keep on their toes.

9. Legend of the Galtardal Vixen

In the 18th century, a young student flirted with a young lady, with whom he had a daughter. But some time later the couple broke up. Overwhelmed by grief and resentment, the rejected lover created (by incantation, but we are not sure) a red vixen so that she would pursue the descendants of her ex over 9 generations, in order to rot their daily lives. We do not really know how, all the Icelanders will tell you that they are the great-great-great-great-grandchildren (etc) of this young woman and that it is the fault of the red vixen of Galtardal, that they lose always their business. That’s it yeah.

10. The Afturganga or Icelandic ghosts

The Afturganga are kind of ghosts who return to Earth in human form to lure humans into the afterlife. These deceivers would be difficult to unmask, except that they are incapable of pronouncing the word God, which in Icelandic, Guo thought. Moreover, it is not for nothing that one of the most popular female names in Iceland is that of Guorun (Rune of God), which ghosts can therefore pronounce. If you ever come across an Afturganga, three solutions: run fast; have a good exorcist on hand; or someone big enough to face him in single combat. We’re not making this up, it’s written black on white in the best seller “Afturganga for Dummies”.

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