Icelandic elves hinder road building

Just in time for Christmas comes a story from Iceland about a road project being delayed due to a lobby group concerned the route would disturb local elves.

Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer. They fear disturbing elf habitat and claim the area is particularly important because it contains an elf church.

The cynic in me puts the ‘elves’ down as a handy excuse for some people to try and block a road they don’t want. However this quote made me think:

“Some feel that the elf thing is a bit annoying,” said Magnason, adding that personally he was not sure they existed. However, he added, “I got married in a church with a god just as invisible as the elves, so what might seem irrational is actually quite common” with Icelanders.

Is belief in elves any more nonsensical than any other type of religious belief? Not really. And if it was a Christian church blocking a road project you can bet many more people would be backing the campaigners.

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