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Loftandi – Iceland’s Air Spirit

2 min read

Iceland has a folktale about a strange, humongous being that supposedly appeared in the sky over Miðnes one day, somewhere in the early 19th century.

Resembling a large cloud bank, the thing moved through the sky and when it moved away, a loud noise was heard, like that of a large ship being dragged across gravel. The sound was heard in many places, including Suðurnes, Grindavík and Keflavík, among other cities.

The cloud or cloud-like creature moved from east to west. At first the creature was dark, but as it moved closer to the sun, people saw it had a light pink colour.
A man named Kristinn Jakobeus claimed that his father once saw a similar being, and that it was an air spirit.
Since then, people told stories about the mystical air spirit and named it Loftandi, which literally means “air-like” or a better translation might be “air spirit”.

A spirit or an oddly coloured cloud of volcanic ash? Iceland has several active volcanoes after all, including Grímsvötn, Krafla, Katla and Hekla, and a small eruption or seismic event might explain also the grinding noise….

Images from web – Google Research

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