Lagarfljotsormurinn

Freshwater Monster of Iceland.

Etymology: Icelandic, "the serpent of La-garfljot." (The Lagar Fl jot River flows out of Lögurinn Lake.)

Variant name: Skrmsl.

Physical description: Tot al l engt h, 46 feet. Pal e color. Head and neck, 6 feet long. Face has whiskers. One large hump. Body, 22 feet. Tail, 18 feet.

Behavior: Swims wit h undulat ions. Distribution: Lögurinn Lake, Iceland. Significant sightings: A huge, humped animal was seen in the lake in 1345. Other prominent sightings occurred in 1749, 1750, and 1819.

In 1998, a class of children and their teacher from Hallormsstadarskoli School witnessed a pale-colored streak undulating through the water for about twenty-five minutes close to the shore near t he Geit agerdi farm. One of t he st u-dent s is said t o have t aken a phot ograph. Possible explanations:

(1) Large bubbles of methane gas welling up from t he bot t om of t he l ake.

(2) Horses and cows swimming in t he wat er, mist aken for t he monst er.

(3) Mat s of l eaves and ot her pl ant mat t er brought t oget her by st rong river current s. Sources: Sabine Baring-Goul d, Iceland: Its

Scenes and Sagas (London: Smit h, El der, 1863), pp. 345-348; Jon Arnason, Icelandic Legends (London: Richard Bent ley, 1864), pp. 106-108; Axel Olrik, Ragnarok: Die Sagen vom Weltuntergang (Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1922); Simon Welfare and John Fairley, Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World (London: Collins, 1980), pp. 102-103; "The Lagarfljot Monst er and Ot her Wat er Beast s," Daily News from Iceland, May 28, 1999; "Monst er Al ert," Daily News from Iceland, May 16, 2000.

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