Let me show you Icelandic elves

What is the first thing which comes to your mind when you hear word elves? Little nice guys who live with Santa in the north pole and help him pack presents for nice kids ?

Elfo from disenchantment ?

Will Ferrell in the movie Elf?

Or maybe a beautiful man like demigods?

In today’s first episode of Let me show you Iceland we will have a closer look at Icelandic Elves, and how they still live deep inside Icelandic culture. So please fasten your seatbelt and let me show you Icelandic elves. Little green gnomes That's how today most of the western people imagine elves. If real vikings could see what happened to elves they used to know, their reaction would be like ( no god help no ). But Hollywood, and modern day cartoons are not the only ones to blame for replacing tall, beautiful, often very scary man-like creatures for tiny harmless sweet ass gnomes. To find who is responsible for that, we need to go back in time about 500 years to England, where William Shakespeare wrote his Midsummer Night's Dream In this classic English comedy, elves are portrayed as small flying ferries. and that started an avalanche.

Since that literary masterpiece the whole western world imagines elves as tiny flying fairies, just like Oberon king of elves and his wife Titania Queen of fairies.

Choosing that name was definitely not accidental. Father of modern English literature had to be familiar with old German Das Nibelungenlied (German is a scary language) or, as we know it The Song of the Nibelungs, where Oberon was the guardian of the Nibelung's treasure and has the strength of twelve men. Medieval Germans wouldn’t be happy to see the ruler of supernatural beings as a tiny fairy. So by Shakespeare's time around the 16th century people began incorporating elves into stories about fairies, and by the 19th century, fairies and elves were only different names for the same magical creatures. Of course not everywhere and we can tell many examples of books where Elves aren’t that sweet. We have Token’s lord of the Ring, or recently super popular Wither series, where Elves are real badasses. But this kind of elves representation is definitely much less popular. In most of the cultures around the world, elves' faith seems to be extinct. However there is one magical place in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, where elves definitely did not say their last good-bye. Icelanders are a nation like no others. Many centuries of isolation from outside world influences, helped to preserve a lot of old time beliefs and folk tales. Every now and again you can hear from the guides,

read in guidebooks, or web pages about Iceland, that Icelanders really believe in Elves.

Even though it’s not easy to find Icelanders who will tell you that elves are real, those guides' stories certainty didn’t come from nowhere, and are based on very strong foundations.

According to 1998 opinion polls published by DV (second biggest newspaper in Iceland) when asked do you believe in elves 54,4 percent of respondents answered yes

While only 45,6% answers were no. According to this we can definitely say that elf beliefs are still pretty strong in modern Icelandic society.

However, It was not the only opinion poll on this matter.

one from 1975 is much more detailed, where 15 % considered existence of elves likely

7% certain when 18 % unlikely

and 10% impossible 33% neither affirming nor denying and 17% had no opinion.

So those numbers of elf believers are much lower but still significant. And now a lot of you will say Hola Hola mate ! Our guide told us that 70% of Iceladers believe in Elves. And ok to be fair there is research which shows these numbers. But as we all know the devil always hides in the details,

1995 survey run by church historian and sociologist Petur Petursson shows that 70% of respondents believe that elves exist only 6% don’t, And 23% don’t know. Unbelievable right ?

But as we all know There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics and you can always find statistics which would prove even the craziest theory.

Survey that’s providing us such an incredible number was run among people interested in mysticism and unconventional medicine. When they asked the same people if the space aliens visit earth,

41 % answered that it is possible, only 13% not and 41% did not know. Looks like respondents in this survey are kind of people who wear aluminium hats so Government can't control their, love youtube videos with yellow subtitles and series at History after 9 pm about big reptiles helping Egyptians build pyramids But whatever we would say about those surveys , even the most pessimistic, show us that elf believers are a big part of Icelandic society.

Ladies and gentlemen let me introduce you to Hidden People! Every story needs to start somewhere, so let's start from the genesis of elves.

The word Elf comes from common Germanic the ancestor-language of English, German, and the Scandinavian languages and originally means “white one”. Not very helpful right? No worries we will get there. Snorri Sturluson Icelandic historian and poet in his Prose edda Mentioned Dökkálfar ("Dark Elves") and Ljósálfar ("Light Elves") two contrasting types of elves the dark elves dwell within the earth, while the light elves live in Àlheimar ( home of elves) , and are brighter than sun to look at. Story of dark elves is better than many Mexican telenovelas. Svartálfar are the children of Freyja and some of dwarves craftsmen. Freya was a Norse goddess associated with love, beauty and fortune telling, pretty big deal in Viking times, anyways she was traveling in Nidavellir (the home of dwarfs) and saw the necklace Brísingamen. The makers agreed to give her this necklace if she married all of them, one each day and had children with them. Guess what ? She agreed and gave birth to a new sub-spice: the Dark elves. That’s real snow white the untold story of Freya and 12 dwarves :D she was a gold digger among gold diggers. Alright let’s not be mean let's go back on track ,) In Snorri’s version, we can clearly see Christian influences in good and evil dualism. But Icelandic folktales go much further and completely mix the beginning of elves with christian book of genesis. And we have One story which says that elves are fallen Angels forced to live between heaven and hell, other one that huldufòlk are offspring of Adam and his first wife Lilth surprised right ?! In jewish mythology Adam had a wife before Eve. Crazy chick he couldn't handle and got rid of her. But definitely the most popular version is the one we can find in Jón Árnasson Icelandic folk and fairy tales. So folk elves are unwashed children of Adam and Eve Sounds pretty weird right? That how the story goes: Once upon a time God Almighty paid an unexpected visit to Adam and Eve. They showed around the house and presented their children. you know the kind of stuff you do, when family members you haven’t seen for ages finally come to visit you. After this mandatory part of visit, God have asked Eve, if she has any other children, She said no no not at all why you asking. But it was a lay, before God visited them, Eve was washing her children and some of them were still dirty, so she was like hey go to the basement hide in potato sacks, you dirty bastards. But God was a smart dude and said. Hey ! do you think I’m stupid. People call me almighty for a reason . I know that you have hidden other kids ! And then the atmosphere got so tense that you could hang your jacket in the air. And God said : Whatever must be hidden from me shall also be hidden from people!! Yea God especially in Old testament did not play games And from now on men like invisible people live on invisible farms, having invisible livestock, invisible sheriffs, invisible priests and ... (enough! Sound) In order to see them, they must make themselves visible to us Buuuuuuut ! there is one more way to see them, you just need to have some Elf ointment smeared in your eyes. Whaaaaaat ?! Easssy! Let me explain to you. We can read about this unusual way in a story called “the magistrate wife of Burnstarfell. She was a rich shilla living on the farm and while all the other folks were working their asses off she was just chilling and taking a nap. Than Elf had visited her in her dream and asked for a favor, his wife was giving a birth there were some complications and only human could help, she helped him and everyone since then lived happily ever after, yeeeeaaaah that's not an end of this story, Icelandic Fairy tales are long and very boring, they would put you to sleep better than tranquilizer. While the human lady was washing newborn, elf asked them to put some ointment on the kid eyes, sneaky shilla knew that it must be some cool magical stuff, and when no one seen she smear some in her eyes, and from now on she could see hidden people, their farms houses and illegal chicken fight tournaments. Ok i just made it up. But a couple years later she saw that elf lady again and greeted her. She got furious and said, you sneaky bitch hatfu ! and spit in her eye, from then one she could not see anything more than before she put ointment. Spitting in the face is not the nicest way to say hello. but hey who said elves are nice ? if you mind your own business they wouldn't bother you, but if you are too nosy they would punish you without mercy. Oh yeah, Elves are pretty scary guys. Old time tale The tunga bluff tells us about two brothers living in the west. One of them was quite a bit introverted Sveinn and the other was a complete opposite of his brawny and pretty cocky guy called Arnor. Arnor was a merry fellow and often played with his mates in the Elf valley. Sveinn warned them to don't piss off Elves but merry fella xD did not give a damn. Every Christmas eve Sveinn was disappearing, . Arnor went to look for him and saw Church he never saw before. He went in and his brother was a part of some wicked elves ceremonial. When elves seen intruder they were like, now you are in the deep shit my boy, we gonna fuck you up. Long story short they killed Arnor and kicked off Sveinn from their weird community. As you can see Elves really value their privacy and one who would disturb their peace will pay a high price. That’s what old tales say , but we don't have to go so far back in time to find examples of Elves protecting their ground. Every now and again you can hear about some construction being interrupted by elves. Most often they tell stories about broken machinery, but also you can hear about buildings and factories on fire. Very often construction workers or engineers were visited in their dreams by Elves who asked them to get the hell out of their land. I like to think about elves as some kind of MOB or old fashioned mafia. First they come during sleep and make an offer you cannot refuse. And Of course you will refuse, because one would believe that elves are visiting you at night. And Then shit gets real You are at war with invisible radical motherfuckers who will fight you with no mercy. Imagine invisible shady guys cutting brake cables during the night. Hahaha (evil laughs) those fucker wont go to far Jimmy. Or maybe I should use a more elfic name, nevermind. Or a group of elves with molotov cocktails screaming: how do you like that motherfuckers!! Let me give you some examples of recent Elf mafia vices from the Reykjavik area . The 1st one is from the early 70 's Where construction workers tried to Move the big rock Out of the course Of highway under construction. They heard Rumours about elves living in this area. And after a few small accidents, the supervisor of this construction site decided to call a clairvoyant to negotiate with rock inhabitants. Can you believe it ?! xD he circled the rock a few times and claimed that elves let them carry on with construction. But right after that the shit got terribly wrong, the rock split in 2 while the bulldozer was taking him down. Exactly the same night One of the bulldozer operators That moved the rock destroyed the pipeline Feeding into nearby fish farm And 70000 fish disappeared overnight. Fish owner sued contractors, the bulldozer operator had an accident and a lot of bad luck followed construction workers for many years. One more from Kopavogur where on elf hill road cars were breaking down for hours and blocking all the traffic and the family who moved there ran away as quick as they moved in. One of the most popular is from 1996 bulldozer operator run into trouble making ground under the new centenary for the capital area. trucks were moving soil and bulldozers had to level it. Apparently machines were going crazy breaking down. and when mechanics were called to check they said that breakdowns in theory are impossible to happen! When reporters showed up on the scene cameras stopped working but only when they tried to film elf hill. This elves vs construction workers There is one more thing which really scares Icelanders is that elves kidnap children!! Enter is one funny story from Jon Arnarson Once upon a time there was a man looking after her kid During the summer time while everybody else was working in the fields She let the kid in front of the house and went inside to prepare some food, Where's it come back to realise the kid is behaving differently. He became a real douchebag. She had no idea what's going on Because the kid before was very well behaved. She got super disperate and went to see the woman living nearby who was the smartest chick in her area. She said did you think that your child might be a channeling. It was exchanged when you left him unattended. She was like what the fuck I want my kid back I dont want this small asshole anymore! But then she realized how ridiculous that was and asked how I could check it? a smart lady said: leave him unattended and make sure he finds something completely new to him. If he sees no one around he will say something suspicious, if it happens spank him with no mercy. So when they returned home she took small pot and few broomsticks and tied them together, child when he saw it looked around and said, I am old guy father of 18 in elfland but never in my live seen broomstick so long, than lady get to kitchen grabbed kid and spank she shit out of him, For a while, she saw a strange woman enter the kitchen, a beautiful little boy on her arm, whom she kept kissing and cuddling. The stranger said, "How differently we behave. I fondle your child, while you beat my husband." So saying, she put down the boy, the woman's son, leaving him there, and took her husband with her. They both disappeared instantly. The boy grew up with his mother and became a fine man. Or a very similar story called „The child with a mark on its face“ where the kid disappeared and after a couple of days was found with a blue mark on his face elves were accused of that.

For many centuries fear of kids being replaced by elf was widespread between icelanders. And it’s not as irrational as it might seem to be. Back in time people did not know origin of some mental disorders like autism and they tried to explain themself

One of Icelandic politicians Árni Johnsen had terrible car accident in 2010 but was saved by a family of elves living in a 30-ton boulder nearby. So, to thank them, he's agreed to move their boulder onto his property where they can live their lives in luxury and not off the side of a highway. I had Ragnhildur Jónsdóttir, a specialist in the affairs of elves from Álfagarðurinn in Hellisgerði, Hafnarfjörður, to come look at the boulder with me […] She said it was incredible, that she had never met three generations of elves in the same boulder before […] She said an elderly couple lives on the upper floor but a young couple with three children on the lower floor […] But they asked whether the boulder could stand on grass. I said that was no problem but asked why they wanted grass. ‘It’s because they want to have sheep.’

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