Our First Site in Mývatn

It is possible we have found one of the most offensively smelling places on earth - Hverir. A parking lot that is easy to drive to is filled with busses and cars. People walk around bubbling mud pots fuming with sulfuric gasses with clothes over their mouths and noses. Some walk bravely around with eyes tearing saying - "It is not that bad" - but we were not fooled. Hydrogen sulfide is tear inducing and nauseating in large doses.

The temperature about 1000 feet down is almost 400ºF and by the time it makes it to the surface it is at the boiling point of water, which is a little over 200ºF. Mud bubbles and mud explodes in large mud pots that you can walk right up to. Steam comes from holes and rock piles all around the area. There is a set of paths, bridges, and observing platforms to view the sites. The ground is incredibly hot in many areas and should not be walked on. As the water is boiling, obviously that should not be touched either.

When we arrived, the busses had just arrived. We viewed part of the site and then escaped up Námafjall for a bit and by the time we were on our way back, the site became desolate. It was easier to get close to the sites on the platform at this point and to spend more time. The location was only 10 minutes from our hotel, so if we wished to return, we could.

Earth covered in sulfur deposits A pile of rocks lets eye watering steam out A detail of the steam vent

The smell did us in more than anything and we departed to Hike Viti. Only minutes away from the site the air was fresh as though the place did not really exist. We thought we would have to drive all the way to the north of Iceland to see a site like this, but there are smaller sites in the south near Reykjavik like Seltún Geothermal Area, but this was certainly much larger, and in fact the largest that we visited on this trip. We recommend this site for its uniqueness and significance to a personal education in geology.

A hole of mud and ashen peaks looks like the land where dinosaurs still roam Desolation Approaching a mud pot