Iceland: Home of Clearest Freshwater on Earth!

Untamed Science crew member Jonas Stenstrom recently returned from Iceland as a part of this year’s production. The country is an island, slightly larger than the state of Oregon, that lies in the middle of the North Atlantic ocean with the tectonic boundary between the North American plate and the Eurasian plate, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, running straight through the country. In fact, it is the only place you will able to go and see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge above sea level.

This location means that geologically, Iceland is extremely active with several volcanoes, countless hot springs and geysers. The English word GEYSER is actually derived from Geysir, or Great Geysir, and the oldest known geyser in the world is located in Haukadalur Valley on Iceland. The geothermal activity also provides most of the 300,000+ people living in Iceland with cheap electricity and hot water.


Iceland also has the largest glaciers in Europe. In total, about 11 percent of the country is covered by glaciers. More than 60 percent of the country is tundra and largely uninhabited.

I went there to document Iceland’s unique geological location and was met by a country beautiful in every way with amazing nature and incredibly friendly people.

The main purposes of my trip were to document climate and why different parts of the planet experience different climates, and to take a closer look at plate tectonics and Iceland’s geological activity.

Highlights of the trip:


Dive in Lake Silfra

Silfra is located in Thingvellir National Park about an hour drive from the capital Reykjavik. It’s incredibly interesting nature and history has given Thingvellir a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

In the park lies Lake Silfra. The lake has become world famous amongst scuba divers for its incredibly crystal clear water. It also lies right on one of the fault zones that break Iceland apart, which is another reason I had to take a closer look (with great help from “Scuba Iceland” and Finni Finnbjornsson).

With us on the dive we also had underwater videographer Thorvaldur “Valdi” Hafberg with his great experience of shooting video in the waters around Iceland.


I also paid a visit to one of the many glaciers found on Iceland. Geared up with the right equipment we walked out on the compact ice that looks nothing like the snow and ice we are used to seeing in winter. Glacial ice is very different. And, the massive pack of ice creates its own weather systems. In our first hour we had rain twice, hail twice, snow, sunshine, storm and no wind–absolutely incredible weather fluctuations. It has to be experienced! But play it safe, glaciers can be treacherous. Right gear, training and a guide are crucial.

If you would like to experience Iceland the way we did, check out our professional contacts below:

Diving around Iceland

Finni Finnbjornsson

Underwater videographer

Thorvaldur “Valdi” Hafberg

For any adventure experiences to see the true Iceland contact

Professional Iceland Tour guide
Villi Godi

More Underwater Video from Thorvaldur “Valdi” Hafberg of Iceland


Written by Rob Nelson

Rob is an ecologist from the University of Hawaii. He is the co-creator and director of Untamed Science. His goal is to create videos and content that are entertaining, accurate, and educational. When he's not making science content, he races whitewater kayaks and works on Stone Age Man.

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