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There are loads of theories about the ‘world’s loneliest house’ and why it was built

Rachel Lang

| Last updated 

There are loads of theories about the ‘world’s loneliest house’ and why it was built

A little cottage dubbed by some as the ‘world’s loneliest house' on the isolated Icelandic island of Elliðaey has been the subject of bizarre rumours for decades.

The deserted property became a Reddit meme during the coronavirus pandemic, spreading around the internet like the virus did around the world.

The joke was that it's the best place to isolate, an observation which had apparently been made previously.

According to The Sun, one urban legend claims that the house was built by a billionaire who planned to move here in the event of a zombie apocalypse, nuclear war, or another unspecified apocalyptic event.


Another rumour suggested a religious zealot who had cut themselves off from society lived on the lonely island.

For a while, there was a theory that the house had simply been photoshopped onto the island before the picture was then posted online.


One of the more popular theories about the Elliðaey island home involved Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk.

The rumour postured that the zany folk/pop singer had been gifted the creepy, cut-off cottage by the Icelandic government.

But, despite that tale being the one with the most credence, that story was later debunked.

Alas, none of the above stories are true. In fact, the real story of the little house on the isolated island is actually quite tame.


It’s a lodge set up by a club for puffin hunters.

Yes, the loveable and colourful birds that frequent some areas around Britain during the summer, with their bright beaks and slightly unwieldy nature, are hunted by patrons who stay in the remote cabin.

Hunting puffins isn’t illegal in Iceland, so hunters built a lodge on the island to have somewhere to sleep during hunts.


Poor little adorable puffins.

In 2019, The Independent reported that trophy hunters were killing up to 100 puffins at a time on organised tours of the Nordic nation, with some trips costing up to AUD$5,000 (£3,000).

But Elliðaey, part of Iceland's Vestmannaeyjar archipelago, wasn't always deserted.

Around 300 years ago, the island was inhabited by five families who lived there and relied on fishing, hunting puffins, and raising cattle for survival.


In the 1930s, the last resident left the island and it has been left deserted ever since.

With the exception of puffin hunts, we mean.

The lonely residence is the only structure on the island and there's no internet, electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing.

But, we still reckon it is the perfect spot to hole up in the event of a zombie outbreak, though.

Featured Image Credit: Joana Kruse / Alamy. donna Ikenberry / Art Directors / Alamy.

Topics: Weird, World News, Travel

Rachel Lang
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