Monster-hunting

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The Lagarfljót is one of Iceland’s deepest lakes and lies in a narrow trough carved by glaciers. It reaches a depth of 112 m, 90 m below sea level and shows no obvious flow. Its deep mysterious glacial waters are the home of Iceland’s ancient and much older equivalent of the Loch Ness monster, the terrifying sea-worm-like Wyrm or ‘Lagarfljótsormur’.

The oldest recorded sighting dates back to 1345. At that time the wyrm was said sometimes to resemble large islands, but at other times to rise out of the water in arches, spanning hundreds of fathoms. People were unsure what sort of monster this was, because neither its head nor tail were visible. In 1589, the wyrm was reported to have lifted its back so high above the water that a fast ship under full sail – crosstree, tackling and all – could have passed underneath. When its gigantic body slammed back into the water, the resulting crash rumbled throughout the vicinity.

Sightings of the wyrm’s activities were frequent during the next centuries. It appeared variously as humps or islets, and yet again lifted its huge form into the sky. Such appearances were generally considered to bode misfortune.

During the 20th century, various shapes of the Lagarfljót Wyrm were viewed from all around the lake. It shot its humps up regularly in addition to appearing as a clump or overturned boat gliding upriver against the current and against the wind, tossing towards both sides. A depth sounder once noted it snuggling under an overhanging bank, far below the surface. In February 2012 the farmer at Hrafnkelsstaðir in Fljótsdalur valley caught on camera a large swimming creature in one of the rivers that run into the lake Lagarfljót. The video got over 5 millions hits on Youtube and was in the news around the world.

Information boards about the wyrm are located at certain lakeside rest stops . We recommend these stops to check for signs of wyrm activities.

See the Worm