A few weeks ago I linked to a Vanity Fair article about the collapse of the Icelandic economy. There was so much awesome in that article that I apparently read right past the most important section.
It turns out the people of Iceland believe in elves.
Like, they really, really believe in elves:
Alcoa, the biggest aluminum company in the country, encountered two problems peculiar to Iceland when, in 2004, it set about erecting its giant smelting plant. The first was the so-called “hidden people”—or, to put it more plainly, elves—in whom some large number of Icelanders, steeped long and thoroughly in their rich folkloric culture, sincerely believe. Before Alcoa could build its smelter it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it. It was a delicate corporate situation, an Alcoa spokesman told me, because they had to pay hard cash to declare the site elf-free but, as he put it, “we couldn’t as a company be in a position of acknowledging the existence of hidden people.”
According to Slate, a 2007 poll found that 57 percent of Icelanders do not deny the existence of elves, and another 8 percent profess to believe in them outright. Also they’re maybe invisible, which conveniently explains the doubts of the non-believers:
The huldufólk are thought to live in another dimension, invisible to most. They build their homes inside rocks and on craggy hillsides, and they seem to favor lava formations. The port town of Hafnarfjördur, near Reykjavík, is thought to have a particularly large settlement of elves—as well as other mystical beings like dwarves (who also fit under the broad category of huldufólk). According to local clairvoyants, the huldufólk royal family lives at the base of a cliff in that town.
Companies like Alcoa naturally complain about paying the government to certify that a building site is elf-free. But here’s a little statistical information for your dumb ass, straight from the record books:
There has never been a certified zombie attack in the nation of Iceland. Not one.
I think you see where I’m going with this. Just a few minutes ago I dispatched a scout team of my foot soldiers in the Global War on Zombies to Iceland to negotiate with the royal family of the huldufolk. They have been given strict orders to recruit these elves no matter what the expense.
How much fermented shark meat do you think an elf king can eat?