Elves no laughing matter in Iceland

July 18, 2005 at 1:41 PM

REYKJAVIK, Iceland, July 18 (UPI) -- The Icelandic tradition of believing in elves is so strong roads have been rerouted to avoid disturbing rocks where they might live, a report said.

Polls consistently show most residents of Iceland either believe in elves, or aren't willing to rule out their existence.

Retired museum director Hildur Hakonardottir, 67, told the New York Times she saw and elf once, one "bigger than life and dressed like my grandmother, in a 1930s national costume."

Tourists at Hafnarfjordur, a port on the outskirts of Reykjavik, are invited to tour known elf locations, including a large rock whose reputation as an elf habitat led to plans for a nearby road being changed so as not to disturb its supernatural residents.

Elly Erlingsdottir, head of the town council's planning committee, said some elves recently borrowed her kitchen scissors, only to return them a week later to a place she had repeatedly searched.

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