Off a remote coast of Iceland, there’s one rocky island among dozens in the archipelago. Unlike the other islands though, this island of grassy cliffs is home to a single, solitary house.
Photos of the lonely house have gotten attention on the internet – understandably so, since it looks like something from a medieval fantasy realm.
For years, internet users have puzzled over who owns the house, and why. It remained a mystery for a long time, giving rise to some pretty creative myths about the house’s purpose.
Some thought it was a gift from the government of island to Icelandic singer-songwriter Bjork – nope. Some said it must have been inhabited by a secretive billionaire, or maybe a religious hermit – no luck there. Other said it was just a photoshop hoax – wrong again.
In fact, the cabin is a lodge created by the local Elliðaey Hunting Association for the purpose of hunting rare birds called puffins – an adorable bird that looks like a cross between a toucan and penguin. The remote lodge has no electricity, plumbing, or internet. It does, at least, have a sauna.
This most secluded house is located on the island of Elliðaey in the Westman archipelago on Iceland’s southern coast, and apparently it has quite the history.
Once upon a time, the island was home to a few families that lived there, surviving by fishing, raising cattle, and hunting puffins (adorable birds that look like a cross between toucans and penguins).
As surviving on the island became more impractical, the last permanent residents of the remote island left sometime in the 1930s.