Lagarfljot (Lagarfljót) Monster

Lagarfljot (Lagarfljót) Monster

Driving along the shores of Lake Lagarfljot look out for the monster, whose story is over 650 years old and mentioned in the Annals from the year 1345. The monstrous 'worm' is often referred to as a snake and it's likely that European folklore may have influenced the tale, as clearly a snake would be more feared than a worm!   However, there have never been any snakes or other reptiles in Iceland. 

A long time ago a woman lived on a farm by lake Lagarfljot. She had a grown daughter and one day she gave her a gold ring. The daughter asked her mother how she could benefit from owning such a piece of gold. 

Her mother told her to put the gold under a worm. The girl did as her mother advised; found a worm, put it in a small box and the gold ring under the worm. When she looked into the box a few days later, the worm had grown so big that the box was bursting apart. The girl became so frightened when she saw this that she threw the box, the worm, and the gold ring into the lake.

In time, people became aware of a monstrous worm killing men and beasts as they crossed Lagarfljot. Sometimes it stretched itself all the way up to the banks of the lake, spewing horrible poison.

Nobody knew how to get rid of the monster so two Finns were brought in to kill it and retrieve the gold. The Finns jumped into the lake but returned soon after and said that this was too great a monster for them and they could neither kill it nor get the gold. Moreover, there was another monster worm underneath the gold that was even scarier! They managed to tie the worm with two ropes, one behind the flippers and the other behind the tail.

From then on, the worm monster could not kill people or animals but at times he raises his hump to the lake´s surface – and each time that happens great events are said to be about to take place.