Impacts of Tourism

Descending into the Empty Heart of a Dormant Icelandic Volcano

Main image to the post Descending into the Empty Heart of a Dormant Icelandic Volcano

Thrihnukagigur is a dormant volcano located near Reykjavik in Iceland. It has not erupted in over 4,500 years, making it a unique and safe destination for adventurous tourists. This dormant volcano is unlike any other in the world, as it allows visitors to descend 700 feet into its magma chamber.

The magma chamber, normally filled with molten rock between eruptions, is believed to have drained away, leaving behind a vast, empty space. This phenomenon is perplexing to scientists, as it would typically lead to the collapse of the volcano. However, Thrihnukagigur remains intact, with its chamber measuring over 3,000 square meters. To put this into perspective, the Statue of Liberty could fit comfortably within the chamber with room to spare.

The chamber was first discovered in 1974 by cave explorer Árni B. Stefánsson, who was lowered into the volcano by his friends. In 1994, Stefánsson's brother Einar and his friend Björn Ólafsson began exploring the cave, embarking on several expeditions with Árni to map out the massive cavern.

Thrihnukagigur opened to tourists in 2012, offering a glimpse into the incredible geological forces that shaped Iceland. Visitors are awestruck by the vibrant colors of the chamber walls, adorned with mineral deposits that create stunning shades of red, yellow, green, and blue. Tours operate during the summer months, requiring a short uphill hike that is manageable for those with a reasonable level of fitness.

Iceland is renowned for its volcanic activity, being one of the most active regions in the world with eruptions occurring every three years on average. Thrihnukagigur stands as a testament to the power and beauty of nature, offering a rare and unforgettable experience for those seeking adventure and a glimpse into the Earth's fiery heart.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09