4 Times Iceland Made Major Decisions Based On Elves

Published April 26, 2016
Updated February 5, 2018

Parliament Member Pays To Have A 30-Ton Elf Rock Moved

Iceland Elves

Icelandic elves have a semi-broad base of believers. Image Source: YouTube

Former member of the Icelandic Parliament Árni Johnsen was driving on an icy, desolate road in southwest Iceland in January 2010 when he lost control of his SUV. His vehicle went careening off of a cliff, overturned, and came to rest near a 30-ton boulder 130 feet from the highway.

His SUV was destroyed, but Johnsen didn’t sustain any major injuries. He attributes his luck to the boulder — or more specifically, the elves that called the boulder home.

Three years after Johnsen’s accident, a road was planned to go right over the boulder. Johnsen wouldn’t have it, and he went to Jónsdóttir, of the Elf School, for help.

“I had Ragnhildur Jónsdóttir, a specialist in the affairs of elves from Álfagarðurinn in Hellisgerði, Hafnarfjörður, to come look at the boulder with me,” Johnsen told the Icelandic Review in 2014. “She said it was incredible, that she had never met three generations of elves in the same boulder before.”

Johnsen asked Jónsdóttir if the elves would be content with a move, and Jónsdóttir said they would under two conditions: One, the boulder be moved to grass so the elves could have sheep. Two, the “window” side of the boulder had to face the ocean. Johnsen found these terms agreeable, and arranged for the rock to be moved — all 30 tons of it — to a location near Johnsen’s home via ferry.

He never disclosed how much it cost to move the boulder, but his beliefs were strong enough to move tons of solid stone. Johnsen used his own finances to move the boulder and is no longer in politics.

Nickolaus Hines
Nickolaus Hines is a freelance writer in New York City. He graduated from Auburn University, and his recent bylines can be found at Men's Journal, Inverse, and Grape Collective.