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The one place in Iceland totally off limits

Inviting isn´t it? But the tiny island of Surtsey is off limits to all. PIC Michael Clarke Stuff

Inviting isn´t it? But the tiny island of Surtsey is off limits to all. PIC Michael Clarke Stuff

Scientists the world over have been fighting for years to study the small volcanic island of Surtsey ever since it suddenly appeared in the sea off the South coast of Iceland in 1963.

This was a major event back then since never before had scientists been able to study from day one a brand new island, which by the way, is how many think the whole landmass in the world came about some millennia ago.

Surtsey is a geological wonder

Unfortunately, Surtsey island shows signs of giving up against the forces of nature and the Atlantic ocean in particular. The tiny island has shrunken every year now for quite some time and although a few plants and insects have been able to find this tiny speck of sand and make a home their survival is still today 50/50 at best.

What should make Surtsey quite remarkable from a tourist perspective is that fact that this is the only place in whole of Iceland that is off limits to tourist. Yes, that means us locals too.

But while odd this is understandable. Surtsey is a geological wonder and is still being carefully studied by scientist. Any foreign influence, for example an organism from your shoe, could very easily put the tiny life found here in grave danger.

Recent measurements from this tiniest of islands shows that Surtsey is not coping well with the elements. It is actually shrinking and will likely vanish to the sea in the next decades

In reality, the other islands around here, Westman Islands, are much more exciting to see and visit. Those came about the same way as Surtsey but long, long ago. Island hopping by boat from Heimaey island is very much recommended by us and one of those trips might take you within great photo distance of Surtsey island.

Oh, and the name Surtsey means deep blackness and comes from Norse mythology.

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