10 Things to Know About Iceland’s Blue Lagoon SurangaSL / Shutterstock.com

10 Things to Know About Iceland’s Blue Lagoon

Chances are you’ve heard about Iceland’s famous Blue Lagoon. Even if you weren’t aware this was an actual place you can visit, you may have seen some of their products available for sale in spas or beauty salons. Blue Lagoon isn’t just a great place for a getaway, it’s an economic powerhouse. But that’s not the only reason Iceland’s Blue Lagoon has become the leading attraction in the island-nation. The Blue Lagoon is a must-see if you’re visiting Iceland; here are 10 things you should know about it before you go.

10. Geothermal Power

Iceland is a tiny island nation located in the north Atlantic, parallel to Greenland and between North America and Europe. The island was formed by volcanic forces and there are still active volcanoes today. That means that Iceland has abundant geothermal energy, which the nation uses to power pretty much everything. The Blue Lagoon is actually a result of those two features—the volcanic formation and the use of geothermal power—coming together. The Lagoon is actually man-made: it’s a retaining pond for “waste” water from the nearby geothermal power plant. Once the water has gone through the turbines, it can’t be reused in energy production, so it’s released into the pond. Don’t worry though—the water is anything but dirty or polluted. The unique, naturally occurring mix of minerals mean it can only be cycled through the turbines once.

9. Minerals in the Water

Iceland’s volcanic nature means that some minerals and elements occur more frequently in the soil. Volcanic ash spewed out of the volcanoes and the presence of lava contributes to high incident rates of some minerals. The water that passes through the geothermal power plant and then flows into the Blue Lagoon is also heavily mineralized; it contains high concentrates of silica, which is what gives the water its characteristic milky-blue color. The mineral content is also the reason the water can’t be recycled through the turbines in the power plant. Instead, the water is allowed to reabsorb into the ground, while the minerals are left behind as a deposit. This process eventually renders the ground impermeable, thanks to a thick layer of mineral deposits, which means the power plant has to continually dig new ponds.

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