In Reykjavik, Iceland, an unusual lava spectacle in a room is surprising

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In Reykjavik, Icelandseated in comfortable armchairs, visitors contemplate a flowing lava flow up close, in an experience that is presented as unique in a theater, in the capital of said country.

In the middle of space organized What a cinema room, there is a slide-shaped structure with basalt columns. Half a hundred visitors, mostly tourists, settle.

In an intentional way and with a whole elaboration through, the show allows “experience real liquid lava inside a building”, explains the presenter, Iain MacKinnon.

How is the unusual lava show in Reykjavik, Iceland?

After a few minutes of explanation about the origin of the project and the volcanology of Icelanda documentary shows the most important volcanic eruptions on the island in recent centuries.

Then comes the most anticipated moment: “Lava has not flowed in Reykjavik for almost 5,000 years… Until now”.

the incandescent lava It goes down a steel slope surrounded by black sand and lights up the room as if the sun were rising. The heat is such that spectators have to take off their jackets.

At the end of the journey, the liquid crackles when it comes into contact with blocks of ice, and as it cools it seems as if glass were breaking.

It’s really very nicesays Jasmine Luong, a 28-year-old Australian. “I understand why many people are attracted to eruptions, but of course, we couldn’t get that close in a normal natural space. It’s much safer here.”

Photo: AFP

The island is one of the most active terrestrial volcanic regions in the worldwith an eruption on average every five years.

On some occasions, such as last August, hundreds of thousands of people were able to observe the incandescent lava flows near Mount Fagradalsfjall, some 40 km from the Icelandic capital. But not all volcanic eruptions on the island are so harmless.

During the show, although the characteristic smell of lava is noticeablethere are no more toxic gases because the liquid has been overheated several times.

For the real lava to flow in the room, 600 kilos of rock fragments ejected during an eruption near Katla have been recovered. one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Iceland, whose last explosion was in 1918.

We heat it up to its melting point, which is around 1,100 ºC. Then it melts. And we pour it in the room”, explains Júlíus Jónsson, co-founder with his wife of the “lava show”, which since 2018 attracted the curious to Vik, a tourist town in the south of the island, before also settling in Reykjavik.

Next to the room, there is a huge furnace for melting metal, modified for the needs of the show and fueled with methane.

The idea for these representations arose on top of a glacier, when observing the lava effusions of the Fimmvörduhálsthe small eruption that preceded that of Eyjafjallajökull, in 2010, and which paralyzed air traffic in a good part of Europe.

Photo: AFP

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