When Elves Halted An Iceland Road Construction Project

Although they may not admit it to your face, many Icelanders believe in elves. While this may seem like nothing more than a charming quirk to outsiders, inciting the wrath of these "hidden people," as they are called, can be devastating. Ask the workers who were hired to build a new road through the lava field in 2013.

Elves in Iceland

According to surveys, about two-thirds of Icelanders believe in elves, and it's not hard to see why. Scholars have long argued that belief in the supernatural provides an easy explanation for the unexplained human psyche, and with its strange beauty and defiant landscape, the country certainly has something to explain. If the elves were to live anywhere, it would certainly be Iceland.

This became a problem when in 2013 the construction of a new road from the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabier to the nearby Alftense peninsula began. The highway must have passed a lava field (which isn't as dangerous as it sounds - this place is lousy 'em) and passed some large, seemingly insignificant boulders. In other words, typical elf stuff, which is why workers panicked when strange things started happening. Tools disappeared and reappeared in bizarre places, and then one digger refused to start.

Just look at this place.

Elf Law

Word got out that the workers suspected they were disturbing the land of the Hidden, and Icelandic elf advocates insisted to agree, insisting the lava field in question placed an elf church in the form of a large boulder. They joined forces with an environmental group called Friends of the Lava, who had globally accepted objections, petitioning the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission to reconsider the highway and staging a series of protests at the site. to the filed, where several hundred people regularly circled the bulldozers. to stop the construction. They eventually emerged victorious after the project was assassinated, after the Supreme Court of Iceland ruled in their favor.

Believe it or not, this was not the first time a concern for elvish welfare hindered development in Iceland. Although they did not receive such widespread news coverage, such incidents date back to the 1970s. Thanks to the 2013 kerfuffle, however, the Icelandic Roads and Coastal Commission has implemented an official policy to handle the public's concerns about elves.

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