From Iceland — Mixed Feelings About Using Worm For Tourism

Mixed Feelings About Using Worm For Tourism

Published February 20, 2012

The potential tourist applications of the mythical Worm of Lagarfljót are many, says the director of an east Iceland tourist office, but some amount of respect for the creature makes many reluctant to go as far as conceivably possible.
As reported earlier this month, video footage of a serpentine object moving in a snake-like motion across the current of an icy river which empties into the lake Lagarfljót – touted as possible video evidence of the legendary Worm of Lagarfljót – became quite a hit on the internet. The footage attracted millions of views from around the world, and proved especially popular in Japan.
RÚV reports that while East Iceland Marketing Office director Skúli Björn Gunnarsson believes the creature could be used as a tourist draw, some ways of doing this are more appealing than others.
Playing up the creature as an attraction for tourists is an idea that has come up before, in ways comparable to the tourist industry surrounding Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster. However, Skúli says, east Icelanders bear a certain amount of respect for the Worm.
“I think that it lives in the unconscious of those of us here in the region,” he said. “We don’t want to make it into a product for sale, so we’re not selling heaps of plastic Worms, as it deserves more respect than that.”
For the time being, guided sight-seeing tours to go “monster watching” on Lagarfljót are not yet a reality.

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