Submarine Searches for Monsters in Iceland’s Waters Skip to content

Submarine Searches for Monsters in Iceland’s Waters

A group of Bíldudalur residents recently went on an expedition to look for monsters on the ocean floor of the fjord Geirthjófsfjördur, which leads out of the larger Arnarfjördur fjord in the southwestern West Fjords, using a remote-controlled submarine with a camera.


From Arnarfjördur. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The submarine was lowered into deep holes in the ocean floor which were considered likely habitats of unknown creatures, reports.

Diver Árni Kópsson, one of the expeditioners, told that the camera had caught “some creature” which “disliked our camera because it was quick to flee.”

Valdimar Gunnarsson, a monster enthusiast, explained they had decided to go on the expedition after the Icelandic Marine Research Institute scanned Arnarfjördur and made a 3D scan of its ocean floor, showing deep holes.

“There are a number of unknown animal species and we are always finding out more and more,” commented Haraldur Ingvason, a biologist at the Kópavogur Institute of Natural History.

And so monsters could be regarded as a synonym for unexplained phenomena, as reasoned on

“One natural phenomenon is when gas forms on the floor of a lake or the ocean. When it flows up it can cause whirlpools or some movement on the surface,” Ingvason added as a possible explanation as to what the expeditioners’ camera showed.

According to folk stories, there are four types of monsters in the ocean surrounding Iceland and they are all reported to have surfaced in Arnarfjördur, which is said to be Iceland’s most monster-infested region.

There are even stories of monsters attacking farms. In legends, the four monsters are called: fjörulalli (“beach roamer”), hafmadur (“merman”), skeljaskrímsli (“shell monster”) and faxaskrímsli (“maned monster”).

These monsters and other monster-related subjects are featured in the Sea Monster Museum in Bíldudalur.

Click here to read more about the museum.


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