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Elves are mythical creatures of Norse and Celtic folklore. Elves are described as small people with pointed ears and mischievous personalities. They are sometimes said to be invisible. They live in forests and other natural places. They are long-lived and have magical powers, which they use to protect nature. The elvish race is almost universally said to predate humanity by a large number of millennia.

Elves are usually considered not to be hostile to humans but are not to be trifled with, often looking down at the human race as inferior, as we look at pets and other animals. In some mythologies there are also dark elves, sometimes known as Drow, which are wicked and evil. Elves are enemies of the goblins.

Elves appear frequently in fantasy literature, for example Lord Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter, and J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion and Lord of the Rings, as well as being a staple non-human character within almost all other high-fantasy settings.

In Norse mythology, the home of the elves is Alfheim, which is also inhabited by the god Freyr.

See also: mythology, faerie, gnome, dwarf, role-playing game, Middle Earth Elves.

There is also an object code format called ELF, Executable and Linkable Format, used on many new Unix-like operating systems.

The name ELF also refers to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic radiation, involved in upper atmosphere lightning-related phenomena and in communication with naval submarines.