Mysterious Lake-Monster Lagarfljót Serpent
River monsters are part of many a countries legends, they vary in form but often share common features.
We can break this down into animals that fit with the appearance of a plesiosaur type animal others more like giant seals some are more serpentine, snake like animals that are very large and inhabit waters where reptiles are rarely found.
I want to look at one of these creatures and the idea that a familiar aquatic animal- all be it giant in size – may provide us with an answer for these snake like lake and river monster that have been seen from China to Europe.
Let’s travel to the Nordic island nation of Iceland and take a look at its equivalent to Loch Ness
One of the most well-known of these lake serpents is the Lagarfljótsormurinn Serpent or as it is also known the Lagarfljót worm of Lagarfljót Lake in East-Iceland.
Lagarfljót Lake is Iceland's 3rd largest lake, found in the east of Iceland near Egilsstaðir. Its surface measures 53 square kilometers and it is 25 kilometers long; its greatest width is 2.5 km and its greatest depth 112 m. This easily providing a large enough environment for the mystery animal to hide.
The glacial river "Jökulsá í Fljótsdal" begins at the Vatnajökull glacier and flows into the lake, a source of fresh melt water providing the lake with its milky white colour.
It is these icy waters that the Lagarfljót worm lives, just like other lake cryptids it has been seen by many witnesses through the ages. The first recorded reports of the water dwelling worm are from around 1345. Spotted over the decades it became a creature of legend in 1589 the serpent monster is said to have raised its body so high out of the water that a boat could have passed under the beast with ease.
Legend tells that when the beasts body crashes back into the water the impact was so huge that the earth trembled. This obviously being a hyperbole, designed to emphasize the animal’s large size.
Sightings of the serpent raising its humps out of the lake continued, in the 17th century there were 14 sightings of the serpent!
It was considered to be a bad omen if the serpent showed itself.