Photos of a mysterious solitary white house on the side of a green hill, on a small, deserted island surrounded by ocean as far as the eye can see have been doing the rounds on the internet for years, earning the place the unofficial title of âloneliest house in the worldâ.
The VestmannaeyjarÂ archipelago consists of a cluster of small islands off the southern coast of Iceland.
ElliÃ°aeyÂ (orÂ Ellirey) is the most northeastern of these islands, and home to the iconic single house siting alone on a grassy, sloping pasture. Itâs an idyllic place that has remained uninhabited since the 1930s, which only makes the existence of this seemingly well-maintained man-made building even more mind-boggling.
Throughout the years, rumors and theories about the lonely house of ElliÃ°aey Island, have been floating around online, including that it was built by an eccentric businessman as a zombie apocalypse shelter, or that it was the property of a religious fanatic. Even Icelandic singer Bjork was at one point rumored to own the island retreat and even be in negotiations with authorities to buy the island.
None of the theories above turned out to be true. The real story of the loneliest house in the world isnât worthy of such conspiracy theories. Itâs actually just a hunting lodge built in the 1950s by the ElliÃ°aey Hunting Association, whose members use it when they come to the deserted island to hunt puffins. Itâs unclear how the island even has a hunting association, considering no one even lives there, but thatâs how things stand, apparently.
Interestingly, a handful of families actually lived on ElliÃ°aey Island up until the 1930s, when they finally decided to move to more populated regions of Iceland, in search of better opportunities. However, they knew what they were leaving behind â an abundance of Atlantic puffins and fish â so they did return to the island periodically in order to hunt. Maybe thatâs how the hunting association started out.
Although the hunting lodge of ElliÃ°aey continues to be maintained in good condition by the islandâs hunting association, itâs still not the most comfortable house in the world. Living in the middle of nowhere does have its perks, but electricity, running water or indoor plumbing are definitely not among them. It does have a sauna, though, fed by a rainwater collection system, and even a fence around it, which is just plain weird, considering there is nobody living there.
Because ElliÃ°aey Island is a major nesting area for storm petrels and other sea birds, it is listed as a nature reserve and a protected area, but that doesnât seem to stop members of the ElliÃ°aey Hunting Association from coming her and, well, hunting birds. However, if you just want to admire the natural beauty of this place, tour companies operating in the Vestmannaejar archipelago offer day trips to several of these deserted islands.
So there you have it, the loneliest house in the world is indeed very lonely, but thereâs nothing else really special about it.
If youâre into isolated places, check outÂ ÃrÃdrangaviti Lighthouse, also known as an introvertâs dream home.
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