Silfra, diving between two continents

Silfra-Cover-Photo

As we mentioned in our previous articles on what to see when in Iceland, the country is stunning, and it features some unique natural landscapes.

PUBLISHED by catsmob.com

While going through all the places that must be visited when in Iceland, we found one that we thought was actually worth dedicating a whole article. This spot is fascinating and wonderful both from a geological point of view and from an aesthetic one.

a038

Nestled away on the bottom of Þingvallavatn Lake—a water basin located in Thingvellir National Park—is a rift that is part of the divergent tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates. This fracture of the crust is called Silfra.

a 157eeecf3ef13a82a406fc0bce1aacf1

Silfra is the one spot we want you to go see and experience when in Iceland.

a 20164ae950678ca

FROM A GEOLOGICAL POINT OF VIEW

As we mentioned above, Silfra was formed as a consequence of the tectonic drift of the Eurasian and the North American plates.

a Diving-inside-the-Silfra

Due to the active geological activity in the area, every 10 years there is an earthquake, which is caused by the plates drifting 2cm further apart every 12 months.

When the earthquakes happen, the crust breaks forming cracks and fissures. One of those cracks is Silfra, which is the largest one of all.

a 8246850815_b2116cc7b0_z

While visiting Silfra, you will notice that inside the crack there are numerous caves. Those were also formed during the earthquakes. Every time the ground shakes, boulders and rocks fall into the fissure, deepening and widening Silfra’s base.

a ing 27263386d005ab518af13ca90765d4fe

WHAT TO DO WHEN THERE

Silfra is located on the bottom of the Þingvallavatn Lake, so in order for people to go see the crack, they need to submerge.

a tag mlu_silfra_7

Despite the cold weather and even colder waters, numerous scuba divers swim down to Silfra to witness on first hand the geological phenomenon. The fact that the lake is freezing cold is actually a positive thing as the waters are clear and when swimming down the visibility reaches 100 meters.

a res b+Nikulásargjá+1

Travellers that dare to dive down to Silfra could decide which part of the fissure to visit. Indeed, the place has been divided into three sections: Silfra hall, Silfra cathedral and Silfra lagoon.

a res maxresdefault

When exploring the crack of Silfra, divers would literally be swimming between two continents: Eurasia and North America.

 

T H E   V I D E O

 

(All the photos are taken from Google.com, all the videos are taken from YouTube.com, and all belong to their original owners)