We are used to seeing public works projects halted or delayed out of concern for an endangered species or because of other environmental issues. The government of Iceland took this concept one step further when, in 2013, a judge halted the construction of a road out of concern about the environmental and cultural impact of the elves who live along the road project.
The judge acted in response to a petition by the Friends of Lava. Their concern rested primarily upon a rock formation believed by them to be Ófeigskirkja, a rock mentioned in Icelandic folklore and serves as a church of the elves. The judge issued an injunction, preventing the construction of the road until the issue could be more fully investigated.
Ultimately a compromise was reached in March 2015 when local authorities agreed to move the rock formation to the side, leaving the place of worship otherwise unmolested. Ragnhildur Jónsdóttir, a clairvoyant and self-appointed representative of the elves, declared the moving of the rock as “a pact between elves and men.” He said, “In 2012 the elves summoned me into the lava and showed me an elven church surrounded by beautiful, bright energy, and next to that church was Ófeigskirkja, a chapel. The elves told me that Ófeigskirkja had been used as a beacon guiding people through the lava, and the rock was right there, in the pathway of the new road to be constructed. I wrote to the Mayor of Garðabær on behalf of the elves. Ófeigskirkja will now be moved to a place near other elven abodes in harmony with the wishes of the elves,” explained Jónsdóttir.