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On the southeast edge of Iceland’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull sits a stunning sight. With the glacier visible in the distance towards the interior of the country, enormous glacial chunks that have been calved from the glacier eddy themselves and into the lagoon known as Jökulsárlón. The name translates to glacial river lagoon and is considered one of Iceland’s most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason.
The eerie blue colour of the glacial pieces seems to reflect the sky while also radiating the colour from within the mass somehow. The pieces, in a variety of shapes and sizes, move at a glacially slow pace through the lagoon and out towards the sea. The national park in which it is situated offers lagoon tours for exploring the amazing site more closely. Although it is enticing to get as close as possible, take heed. There have been instances of tourists hopping from one iceberg to the next and finding themselves in a dangerous situation, not realizing that the icebergs are constantly moving.
With this beautiful site comes a bittersweet truth. Since the beginning of the 1970s, the glaciers have been melting at an accelerated pace – Jökulsárlón itself has grown four times larger and is now at 11 square kilometres in size. The eerily majestic pieces of the glacier are the result of a disintegrating glacier.
The site is definitely a must-visit in your lifetime, especially as scientists predict that the glacier’s continuous melting will lead to the whole area becoming a fjord as time passes. Jökulsárlón has also caught the attention of film directors and can be seen in many Hollywood films such as Die Another Day, Tomb Raider and Batman Begins. The site is also ideal for visitors looking to film the Northern Lights and offers many vantage points to chose from.
As the Icebergs in the lagoon continues to melt, it floats slowly towards the sea while lodging on the black sand beach and slowly melting into various beautiful shapes.