Icelanders concerned that the construction of a new highway through a lava field will displace elves (aka huldufólk or “hidden people”) that reside there, and may even destroy an invisible elf church hidden in the lava formations.
"'Very bad things' might happen. 'This elf church is connected by light energy to other churches, other places. Thus, if one of them is destroyed, it’s, uh, well, it’s not a good thing,” stated members of the environmental group Friends of Lava, who added that birds and plants are also in danger from the construction.
While it is claimed that “only those with psychic powers can see the elves, 60% of the population still believe they exist there. In fact, there are 4 Icelandic holidays considered to have a special connection with hidden people, beginnng with : New Year's Eve, followed by Twelfth Night (January 6), and Midsummer Night, a time when “ if you sit at a crossroads, elves will attempt to seduce you with food and gifts; there are grave consequences for being seduced by their offers, but great rewards for resisting). The fourth holiday is Christmas night, when it is believed that elves often invade farmhouses and hold wild parties. As a result, it has become the custom the clean house before Christmas and leave food foe the “hidden folk.”
Similar concerns led 150 Icelanders to go to the NATO base in Keflavík in 1982 to look for "elves who might be endangered by American Phantom jets and AWACS reconnaissance planes,." while, Alcoa had to have a government expert certify that their chosen building site was free of archaeological sites, including ones related to huldufólk folklore, before they could build an aluminum smelter in Iceland in 2004
In the meantime, the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission has been forced to halt construction of the highway between the Alftanes Peninsula and the Reykjavik suburb if Gardabaer pending a decision by the Supreme Court.