Beware of Elves

According to the Iceland Tourist Board, at 10% of Icelanders believe in elfs and other spirits, and 80% aren’t sure.  That’s why “[t]he Iceland road authority typically responds with sensitivity, routing roads around hallowed boulders or delaying construction long enough to give non-human constituents time to find new accommodations.”  The same thing happened when Alcoa built an aluminum smelter in Iceland: “Before Alcoa could build its smelter it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it.” (The article on Iceland’s financial meltdown is worth reading in full BTW)

Naturally,  in order to properly spot elves you have to go to the Icelandic Elf School.  “Magnus Skarphedinsson, the historian who runs the school, estimates that Iceland is home to up to 20,000 hidden beings. Most are benign creatures, he says, who live in harmony with nature. If provoked, though, they will strike back.”   After a day of training you too can learn how to find the hidden beings.

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