It’s not Wise to Disturb Elves

The Icelandic people are wiser than most other people. For example, in Iceland the threat of disturbing the local elven population is a good enough reason to halt a highway construction project:

Elf advocates in Iceland have joined forces with environmentalists to urge authorities to abandon a highway project that they claim will disturb elf habitat, including an elf church.

The project has been halted until the supreme court of Iceland rules on a case brought by a group known as Friends of Lava, who cite both the environmental impact and the detrimental effect on elf culture of the road project.

The group has regularly mobilised hundreds of people to block bulldozers building a direct route from the tip of the Álftanes peninsula, where the president has a property, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer.

Issues about Huldufolk (Icelandic for “hidden folk”) have affected planning decisions before, and the road and coastal administration has come up with a stock media response for elf inquiries, which states in part that “issues have been settled by delaying the construction project at a certain point while the elves living there have supposedly moved on”.

This is the first time elves have prevented or delayed construction projects in Iceland. I think the Icelandic people know that trespassing on the land of elves can only end in misery as the creatures are known for their mischief.

I have a deep interest in mythology and folklore. One of the reasons Iceland interests me is because the island still holds onto their myths and folklore. While blocking the construction of a highway because of elves may seem ridiculous to most people I find it quite charming. It demonstrates a deep connection with the past and the last, which is something I feel is lacking in most developed nations.