Rakkaberg – Djúpivogur, Iceland - Atlas Obscura


Djúpivogur, Iceland

This natural rock formation features seemingly unnatural vertical ridges that have been blamed on elves. 


The rocky Icelandic terrain has a number of incredible features that can be found nowhere else on Earth, including a handful of strange formations known as “elf churches” such as the stony anomaly called Rakkaberg.

Even in modern Iceland, the existence of supernatural elves (known as the Huldufólk) that act both as helpful and mischievous spirits is not always seen as an outrageous belief. The creatures are blamed for everything from halted road work to the formation of certain geological features, as is the case with Rakkaberg. The sheer stone walls that jut naturally from the ground at this eastern Icelandic site seem almost too sharp to have been created via natural geology. Sites like this are often called “elf churches” under the belief that elves who are aligned with the spirit of good may in fact be Christians, and this is where they worship. While many folks see the Rakkaberg formation as simply a wondrous stack of rocks, its folkloric relevance cannot be ignored.

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