Unidentified Tone Torments Akureyri Residents Skip to content

Unidentified Tone Torments Akureyri Residents

By Larissa Kyzer

Akureyri in winter
Photo: Golli.

A strange droning sound has been plaguing the residents of Akureyri, and not for the first time. RÚV reports that the origin of the noise still isn’t known, although locals have a number of theories and agree that the sound seems to be clearest downtown.

Music director of the Akureyri Cultural Association Þorvaldur Bjarni Þorvaldsson posted about the tormenting tone on Facebook on Monday, noting that he’d heard it as far back as 2014, and most clearly around downtown Akureyri. Þorvaldur said the sound had been particularly distinct on Saturday. The post drew a lot of interests from other locals, some of whom were particularly relieved that they weren’t the only ones who could hear the sound.

“I asked my wife if she heard the sound, and yeah, she hears it, too,” remarked organist Eyþór Ingi Jónsson. “I’d thought I’d been going kind of crazy lately—always hearing that tone.”

Musician Kristján Edelstein also weighed in. “It’s truly, indescribably irritating, that’s the only way to put it. This continuous droning that doesn’t change pitch. I don’t know, the only thing I do know is that I’ve hardly slept the last two nights and I’ve talked to a lot of people who all agree that it’s always the same tone.”

“There are theories, all sorts of theories,” he said. “Everything from ship spars to the Vaðlaheiði tunnel.”

The sound seems to be particularly noticeable around Akureyri Cathedral, although so far, attempts to record it have been unsuccessful.

Alfred Schiöth, the managing director of the Northeast Iceland Health Department, says the origin of the mysterious noise is being investigated. Alfred says the department welcomes tips and theories from residents. “If we get well-grounded suggestions,” he said, “it’ll be a big help to us.”

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