I thought we had it bad in NZ with taniwha appearing demanding great wads of cash to feel better about a road or building or council policy.
Humans in Iceland are standing up for the rights of elves – and not because Father Christmas works them too hard.
Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project because it might disturb the creatures’ habitat.
The activists are particularly concerned about an elf church that sits on the potential site.
The proposed highway would offer a direct route from the Alftanes peninsula, where President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer.
But the project has been halted until the Supreme Court of Iceland rules on a case brought by a group known as Friends of Lava.
The activists cite a cultural and environmental impact – including the plight of the elves – as a reason for regularly gathering hundreds of people to block workers from bulldozing the area.
However, many of the Friends of Lava are motivated primarily by environmental concerns and see the elf issue as part of a wider concern for the history and culture of a very unique landscape.
Andri Snaer Magnason, an environmentalist, told the Associated Press that his major concern was that the road would cut a lava field in two and destroy animal nesting sites.
“Some feel that the elf thing is a bit annoying,” said Magnason, adding that personally he was not sure they existed.
The Nordic island’s “Huldufolk” or “hidden folk” affect construction plans so regularly that the road and coastal administration has come up with a stock media response for elf inquiries.
It reads: “Issues have been settled by delaying the construction project at a certain point while the elves living there have supposedly moved on.”