Natural Wonders: A Photo Tour of Iceland's Breathtaking Waterfalls
Of the countless natural wonders dotting Iceland's famous Ring Road, perhaps most notable are the country's bountiful and majestic waterfalls. Iceland's unique location and climate have made it home to some of the world's largest and most powerful. They've been visited over the years by millions of tourists, used as set locations for multiple Hollywood blockbusters, and have inspired many an artist, poet, and composer by their sheer natural might.
Here's a brief introduction to some of the most famous of Iceland's falls. High resolution images are available by clicking the links in the photo credits.
Gullfoss (Golden Falls)
Gullfoss is one of Iceland's most popular tourist attractions. This iconic waterfall features a staircased canyon plunge with two separate drops of 11 and 21 meters. Its website features a live webcam, though it was experiencing errors at the time of this posting.
Fans of the British band Echo and the Bunnymen may recognize Gullfoss from the Porcupine album cover.
From photographer Ashley Buttle:
"According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. A local boy found the chest years later, but was only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again."
Skókafoss was used as a film set for both Thor: The Dark World and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
This unique horseshoe-shaped waterfall is located right upon a northern stretch of the ring road. Its falls measure 12 meters in height, roughly thirty in width. A local legend tells that an Icelandic lawspeaker tossed his Norse idols from these falls upon naming Christianity the land's official religion around the year 1000.
Svartifoss (Black Falls)
Located in the southern region of Vatnajökull National Park, Svartifoss gets its name from the dark and imposing lava columns that surround it. Here's a glimpse of what the waterfall looks like in winter.
Trails have been cut blazed behind the 60 meter drop so that visitors can take in a 360-degree view. Notice the person in red to the right of the photo. Seljalandsfoss was used as a location during filming of the Amazing Race 6.
The big daddy of them all, this is the largest and most powerful waterfall in Europe. The chute is 40 meters tall and 100 meters wide, leading to an average water flow of 193 m3/s. Note the single individual to the left of the photo... that's how massive this thing is. The mighty drop creates a vapor cloud that can be seen for many kilometers, even in winter.
Dettifoss was used as a shooting location in the film Prometheus because of its alien appearance. That milky gray color is due to sentiment in the water.
It'd be near impossible to include all the major Icelandic waterfalls in a small post, so if you're interested in viewing more photos and learning all about these natural goliaths, here are some resources for your use:
Iceland on World of Waterfalls
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Archeologists had been doubtful since no such ship had ever been found.
- In 450 BCE, Greek historian Herodotus described a barge that's never been found.
- When the ancient port of Thonis-Heracleion was discovered, some 70 sunken ships were found resting in its waters.
- One boat, Ship 17, uncannily matches the Herodotus' description.
The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.
- Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
- This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
- Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
The Canadian professor has been on the Joe Rogan Experience six times. There's a lot of material to discuss.
- Jordan Peterson has constantly been in the headlines for his ideas on gender over the last three years.
- While on Joe Rogan's podcast, he explains his thoughts on the gender differences in society.
- On another episode, Peterson discusses the development of character through competition.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.