Drangurinn Rock – Iceland - Atlas Obscura

Drangurinn Rock

Icelandic folklore says this giant boulder was ripped from the mountains and placed at its current location, where it became home to elves. 


Drangurinn Rock, a mysterious giant boulder, sits below the Eyjafjöll Mountains in the south of Iceland. But according to Icelandic folklore, it did not get there naturally. It is said a semi-legendary outlaw tore it from Mount Hrútafell and dropped it there.  

But the myths around Drangurinn Rock don’t stop with its strange arrival at its current location. The caves beneath the rock, where human farmers would keep their cows and hay, are said to have been home to elves.

According to the myths, the elves cared for cows that gave birth overnight, and did not like human interference. Farmers who left their cows to give birth would return to find mother and calf safe in the morning. Those who interrupted the process might have the calves thrown at them, and farmers who didn’t leave would have something happen that would force them out, or they would be made to fall asleep.

One man, a farmhand, is said to have gotten to know the elves quite well, and reported that they were a lot like humans and just as beautiful. When he disappeared after his days of labor were over, it was believed he had married an elf-woman.

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