Markarfljót, a glacial river with its main source on the Mýrdalsjökull glacier and another on the Eyjafjallajökull glacier, but its longest branch comes from Reykjadalir west of the Torfajökull glacier. It carries a good deal of stones and gravel. It has often overflowed its banks in the lowlands causing great damage to farming country, but recently–built dykes have given good protection. The Markarfljót is 100 km long with a total drainage area of ca. 1,070 km2 and an average flow of 85 m3 per sec. The 242 m bridge over Markarfljót was opened in 1934. A new bridge to the west of the farm Seljaland was opened in 1992, and a bridge was built at Emstrur (see Road F210) in 1978. The river was formerly widely believed to harbour monsters, and there is a modern account of people who claim to have seen a strange creature 12–15 m long in it. According to folk–tales the monster originated from a large skate, or ray–fish, thrown into the river by a local farmer after it had been hung up to dry. The farmer hoped to protect the people of the Fljótshlíð district from glacial floods, especially those in Markarfljót. The skate came to life and turned into a monster. It is said that when fording Markarfljót or Þverá on horseback there is a danger of “skidding on the skate”.