More than three million people have viewed the recent footage which may or may not be of Iceland’s mythical Lagarfljóts Worm; which is often dubbed the country’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster.
The Worm is one of many in Norse mythology and not directly related to Loch Ness in any way; but the Nessie connotations and the high quality of the video have seen the story sweep the globe this week — especially capturing the imaginations of people in Japan and the USA. It has been featured on many of America’s biggest news programmes.
Now the amateur cameraman responsible for the footage, Hjörtur E. Kjerúlf, has told the media that “This is absolutely not a hoax by me, that is ridiculous. This is no joke.”
He explained to Bylgjan Radio that he did not set up the ‘monster footage’ and that he did not ever claim that it was the Lagarfljóts Worm. He left that for others to decide.
Hjörtur says that he noticed the ‘monster’ in the river from his kitchen window and continued to drink his coffee. After finishing his drink and seeing that the strange sight was still there, he says he decided it might be fun to catch it on tape.
Hjörtur says that he did not upload the video to the internet himself, instead taking it to the RÚV television office in Egilsstaðir. From there the national news decided to play his footage and then somebody else put it onto YouTube and Iceland’s English language media also translated the news. The rest, as they say, is history.
An expert interviewed by ABC in the USA claims the video was probably a joke; but Hjörtur says it was not. But neither did he definitively claim it to be the Lagarfljóts Worm. He also says that he has been too busy this week to follow the global media sensation he has caused.