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Posts Tagged ‘Lagarfljot Worm’

Deep beneath the murky waters of Lake Lagarfljot, Iceland, a monster dwells! This vicious serpent was bound at the bottom of the lake centuries ago. It may not have a cute nickname, like Nessie, but rumors and sightings have persisted from at least 1345 into modern times.

According to the legend, a young lady who lived in the town of Egilsstadir was given a golden ring. She asked her mother the best way to grow this fortune, and the mother told her to place it beneath a lingworm, or heath-dragon. She went out and caught a very small lingworm, and shut it up in her chest of drawers with the ring.

Within a few days, the lingworm grew so large that it shattered the chest. The terrified young lady grabbed the heath-dragon and threw it into Lagarfljot, gold ring and all. Alas, this wasn’t the end of the beast. It continued growing both in size and spite. No one near the lake was safe as the creature killed people and livestock by spitting poison. Two men came from Finland in response to pleas for help. Even they failed to destroy the lake monster. The best they could do was tie its head and tail to the rocks at the bottom of the lake.

Despite being imprisoned in the lake, the Lagarfljot Worm continues to make itself visible. In the water, it is described as having many humps and being about the length of a bus (40 feet or so). In some cases, it’s even been spotted basking on the lake shore and climbing up trees.

One of the best documented “sightings” was in 1983. A crew laying telephone cable across the lake encountered a large, shifting mass on the lake bottom. The cable was laid but soon failed and had to be pulled back up. According the news accounts, the cable had been designed to avoid kinking, yet it was found to be twisted out of shape and torn in several places. Workers joked that they must have laid their cable right into the lingworm’s mouth.

More recently, a video from 2012 purported to show something swimming against swift currents. Further analysis showed that the “creature” most likely was some sort of debris being swung about just below the surface.

As with Loch Ness, scientists have studied Lagarfljot and declared the whole thing a hoax. They say the murky water results from natural erosion. Also that plant material is carried into the lake and sinks, slowly decomposing and releasing gasses that distort the water.

Nevertheless, tour operators and historical societies continue to preserve the legend of the Lagarfljot Worm for future generations.


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