One of Iceland’s Top Tourist Attractions Is at Risk From Lava

The Blue Lagoon temporarily closed earlier this month for safety reasons

Blue Lagoon
The entrance to the Blue Lagoon geothermal baths.
Steffen Trumpf/picture alliance via Getty Images

If you have a friend who’s visited Iceland and is active on social media, odds are good that you’ve seen photos of them frolicking in one of the most scenic locations on Earth: Iceland’s Blue Lagoon geothermal spa. The location is, as per tour company Reykjavik Excursions, one of the nation’s most popular destinations. It’s not hard to see why: in a country known for its geothermal spas, the Blue Lagoon builds a hospitality experience atop what’s already there. And it doesn’t hurt that photos of visitors basking in the steamy springs look fantastic on Instagram, TikTok or wherever else you might post.

And now, one of Iceland’s most frequently-visited spaces is at risk of being overrun by lava.

Writing at Live Science, Hannah Osborne cites a prediction made by the University of Iceland Institute of Earth Studies lecturer Alberto Caracciolo. “If magma inflow continues at a constant rate for an extended period, I imagine the dike will grow and reach the surface in the coming days or weeks,” Caracciolo told Live Science. He went on to note that the behavior of lava depends on several factors — meaning that little is guaranteed when it comes to where devastating lava flows might end up.

Caracciolo did tell Live Science that “[i]n most of the scenarios, lava could reach the power plant and the Blue Lagoon very quickly, in less than [a] few days.”

Knocking Around Iceland’s Adventure Coast
The nation is less touristed than you think, especially in the south

Again, that doesn’t guarantee either the best or worst possible outcome for the Blue Lagoon, which has already temporarily closed for safety reasons. But it does serve as a reminder of the unpredictability of the natural world — especially in a country as seismically active as Iceland.


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