Iceland Worm Monster Lagarfljótsormurinn (Lagarfljót), the Nordic nation's very own Loch Ness Monster.
Icelanders are known for their belief in trolls and elves, but is there another creature lurking around the small Nordic country. One man believes he has video proof in the existence of Lagarfljótsormurinn (Lagarfljót), the Iceland worm monster.
Amateur cameraman Hjörtur Kjerúlf captured video footage at a glacial river called Jökulsá í Fljótsdal in Iceland that appears to show a large serpent-like creature slinking along through the icy water.
According to legend, the 25-mile-long 367-foot-deep Lake Lagarfljót is home to the worm, Iceland's answer to the Loch Ness Monster. Tales of Lagarfljót date back to the 14th century. As the story goes, the monster grew from a tiny worm to a fierce sea beast to enlarge a gold ring placed around its body by a young girl.
There have been several supposed sightings of the Iceland worm monster throughout history, but many critics are skeptical.
Loren Coleman, director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine, has researched the Lagarfljót and written about the creature in his book Field Guide to Lake Monsters and Sea Serpents. He believes the video is an elaborate hoax.
Frankly, this video shows something that looks like a constructed snake-like object, with rigid sections, being propelled through water, Coleman wrote on his Cryptomundo Web site.
From the movement on the water's surface, it would have to be something other than a mammal, like a giant worm, reptile or a fish, he adds. The head appears to have been made to look like it belongs to a giant anaconda. The sections do not gracefully flow, but are sectionally moving from side-to-side. Mammals move up and down.
The supposed lake monster is not typically known for its serpent-like appearance. Sightings dating back to 1345 describe Lagarfljót as having a hump, a long neck, and whiskers, giving it an appearance closer to a long-necked water horse.
It seems someone attempting this fakery, perhaps by using a robot with tarps, fish nets, or trash bags -- a favorite for watery hoaxers -- has decided to take the phrase 'Sea Serpent' and/or 'Worm' too literally, Coleman notes. The 21st Century-employed phrase 'Iceland Worm Monster' comes from a misunderstanding and mistranslation of Lagarfljótsormurinn simply as Lagarfljót worm, instead of the more correct Lagarfljót Würm or Wurm, harking back to an overlapping folklore for and with dragons, definitely cryptids with much more bulk than wispy earthbound 'worms.'
Whether or not the video is a fake, the sea serpent is a monster hit on the Internet. It's the latest in a series of similar videos to surface in the past few weeks.
Footage of a supposed Woolly Mammoth also hit the Internet this week. The beast, thought to be extinct for some time, appears wading through water in Siberia.
A man visiting British Columbia's Lake Okanagan claimed he had video footage of what could only be Canada's fabled sea creature Ogopogo back in November. The legend of Ogopogo is pervasive in Canada. The mythical Loch Ness-like beast has been featured in countless television programs, books, and even a movie, and a statue of the serpent-like creature stands watch on the edge of Lake Okanagan.
Is the footage of the Iceland Worm Monster believable or just the latest hoax? What do you thing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Mark Johanson is the travel editor at the International Business Times. He has traveled to and written about more than 30 nations and territories on every continent except...