Police Called Out to Investigate Sound of Resident Pounding Pork

In a weekend filled with the typical set-tos, scraps, and scrapes downtown, capital-area police got a call-out for the books on Saturday night when they received a report of loud thumping noises coming from an apartment on the east side of Reykjavík. DV reported.

Officers arrived at the scene and knocked on the door, only to be met by the homeowner, brandishing a meat hammer. Thankfully, the explanation for the prurient pandemonium was gastronomic—and perhaps a little tragicomic.

It seems that the home chef had been hard at work that evening, vigorously pounding pork. Tenderizing a fillet, that is, presumably in preparation some delectable meal—schnitzel, perhaps.

Mystery solved, the officers returned to their regularly scheduled bust-ups of underage ragers and barroom hurly burly.

With Bars Closing Early, Police Receiving More Noise Complaints

rainy windshield

Capital-area police have received nearly three times the number of noise complaints this summer as they did three years ago, Vísir reports. Chief Superintendent Ásgeir Þór Ásgeirsson credits the jump to an increase in house parties now that downtown bars are required to close at 11 pm, as opposed to their pre-COVID last call of 4 am.

“If bars and clubs are closed, it’s to be expected that people will do more at home and there will be more parties and things like that,” said Ásgeir Þór.

According to statistics provided by police, in 2017, there were a total of 1,363 noise complaints. In 2018, there were 1,635 noise call outs; there were 1,612 in 2019. By comparison, in just the first seven months of this year, police have already received almost the exact same number as they did for the whole of 2017: 1,349.

Most of the call outs are for noise inside residences (versus for people gathered outdoors). Just considering the summer months, there has been a steady increase in noise complaints over the years. There were 300 noise complaints from May to July 2017, 480 in 2018, and 523 in 2019. Looking at a slightly truncated period this year—May to June—there were 825 complaints, 288 for outdoor noise and 537 for noise indoors.

Ásgeir Þór urged people to be as understanding as possible. “These call-outs to homes…even if someone sleeps an hour less, it generally won’t cause them lasting harm,” he noted. “So the police are just fine with this trade-off, if there are fewer assaults but more call-outs for noise in residences, so long as there’s nothing else to it.”

Unidentified Tone Torments Akureyri Residents

Akureyri in winter

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.”