The Loneliest House in the World

Photos of a mysterious solitary white house on the side of a green hill on a small deserted island surrounded by ocean have been making the rounds on social media for years, earning the place the unofficial title of “loneliest house in the world.” The Vestmannaeyjar archipelago consists of a cluster of small islands off the southern coast of Iceland. Ellirey Island is the most northeastern of these islands and home to the iconic lone house. It’s an idyllic place that has remained uninhabited since the 1930s. Throughout the years, rumors and theories about the house have persisted, including citing it as a zombie apocalypse shelter, the property of a religious fanatic, and even the island retreat of Icelandic singer Bjork. Of course, none of these theories are true. The real story is pretty simple. It’s actually just a hunting lodge that was built in the 1950s by the Ellirey Hunting Association, whose members use it when they go to the island to hunt puffins. A handful of families lived on Ellirey Island until the 1930s, when they finally decided to move to more populated regions of Iceland. Living in the middle of nowhere does have its perks, but electricity, running water or indoor plumbing are definitely not among them. The house does, however, have a sauna that's fed by a rainwater collection system, which is really weird, considering there's nobody living there. Because Ellirey Island is a major nesting area for storm petrels and other sea birds, it's listed as a nature reserve and a protected area.