"We're All Mad Here…."
Icelandic folktales have long told of a serpent in that lake. In their book “Icelandic Folk and Fairy Tales,” folklorists May and Hallberg Hallmundsson describe one origin tale of the beast: “At one time, long, long ago, there was a woman living on a farm in the Lagarfljót district, close by the stream where it broadens into a lake. She had a grown daughter. Once, she gave her daughter a gold ring.” The woman instructed her daughter to catch a snake and keep the gold ring underneath it in her linen chest as, apparently, one did long ago in rural Iceland. She did so, “but when the girl went to look at her ring again, the snake had grown so large that the chest was beginning to come apart. Then the girl was frightened and she picked up the chest with everything in it and threw it into the lake. A long time passed, and gradually people became aware that there was a serpent in the lake, for it was beginning to kill both people and animals crossing the waters.”