Rocks Iceland Elves
The new road construction works were interrupted as as they would disturb the lives of elves who live inside the rocks. Getty Images

Activists have protested against a new road plan in Iceland, as it would disturb the lives of elves who live inside the rocks in the path of the road.

Construction works were stopped after the protesters voiced their dissent.

"It's not every day in Iceland that we divert roads for elves," Icelandic highways department in Reykjavik, Petur Matthiasson told the BBC. "It's just in this case we were warned that elves were living in some of the rocks in the path of the road - well, we have to respect that belief."

Professor of Folklore Adalheidur Gudmundsdottir said, "You can't live in this landscape and not believe in a force greater than you.

"Please don't portray Icelanders as uneducated peasants who believe in fairies, but look around you and you'll understand why the power of folklore here is so strong."

This is not the first time that construction works are interrupted due to activists protest to protect elves' rights.

A highway project was interrupted in December 2013 after hundreds of elf advocates blocked bulldozers which were trying to build a direct route from the Álftanes peninsula to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer.

Terry Gunnell, a folklore professor at the University of Iceland, said he was not surprised by the wide acceptance of the possibility of elves.

"This is a land where your house can be destroyed by something you can't see (earthquakes), where the wind can knock you off your feet, where the smell of sulphur from your taps tells you there is invisible fire not far below your feet, where the northern lights make the sky the biggest television screen in the world, and where hot springs and glaciers 'talk'."

According to Icelandic folklore, Huldufolks, the Icelandic elves, are the same size of humans and are invisible to many people.

There are both good and bad elves and so-called "light elves" and dark ones. Light elves are Christians and go to churches which they build in the rocks.

Iceland: Belief in elves is widespread