Lake Monster Exists, Icelandic Commission Decides

A 13 member truth commission established to investigate a 2012 video which purports to show a monster in Iceland’s lake Lagarfljót has concluded that the mysterious beast does indeed exist, despite skepticism from some researchers.

The announcement of the commission’s decision came on Saturday, in which a majority of members concluded that the video, shot by Hjörtur E. Kjerúlf, actually depicted the lake monster. Their task was to determine whether or not the video was genuine, and if Hjörtur was entitled to a prize of ISK 500,000 ($4,300), according to Iceland Review. The former mayor of Austur-Hérað instituted the prize in 1997, offering it to anyone who could produce proof of the monster’s existence.

The commission also determined that a photo shot by Sigurður Aðalsteinsson did not show the monster. The group came together after Hjörtur and Sigurður both made a claim to the prize.

“I’ve long since lost sight of whether its establishment was serious or a joke, but we were given the task of taking a position and finish this project,” said Stefán Bogi Sveinsson, who chaired the commission.

Icelandic folktales have long described a monster who lives in Lake Lagarfljót, which is situated near Egilsstaðir in East Iceland, as Discovery News notes. Folklorists May and Hallberg Hallmundsson relate an origin story for the beast in their book “Icelandic Folk and Fairy Tales,” describing the monster as a pet serpent, which belonged to the daughter of a farmer who lived along the lake. Frightened as the snake grew too large, the young woman threw it into the water, where it became the monster, striking out at any who would dare cross the lake.

Hjörtur’s video went viral after he filmed it, although others claim that it depicts something far different than a monster. Miisa McKeown, a Finnish researcher, was able to analyze the video and determine that while the serpentine form appears to be moving, it is actually stationary in the water. By referencing the location of the monster’s “head” against static points, she was able to determine that the lake monster is most likely a flexible object, like a fishing net or rope, caught on a branch.

The commission’s findings come just a week after a photo of an English lake monster, nicknamed “Bownessie,” circulated online, as The Inquisitr previously noted. Inviting comparisons to the Loch Ness Monster, the image showed the beast’s head and upper body rising from the water, inviting many to argue that it was photoshopped.

Hjörtur also received a prize of ISK 50,000 from a local tourism cooperative, for promoting the region with his video of Iceland’s own lake monster.

[Image via The Daily Mail]