In honour of Halloween (which, admittedly, Icelanders don’t celebrate on as grand a scale as our North American friends) let’s take a look at the spookily named ‘Witches Lava’.
As children in Canada and the U.S. are donning pointed hats and practicing their cackles in preparation for trick-or-treating this evening, Iceland’s ‘Witches Lava’, or Nornahraun, is growing larger. Nornahraun is the name given to the ever-expanding lava field resulting from the Holuhraun eruption that started in the east of Iceland in August. Soon after the eruption began scientists noted an abundance of nornahár (Icelandic for ‘witches hair’) in the area, which are strands of hair-like glass fibres created when eruption materials are blown into the air and spun around by the wind.
It’s all that ‘hair’ that prompted the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences to propose the lava field being created by the ongoing eruption be named ‘Witches Lava’.
And, oh boy, this lava field is huge — now a whopping 64 square metres… the largest new lava field in Iceland since the eruptions in Laki in 1783-1784. It’s roughly the size of Manhattan! Check out the pics below and imagine a hideous witch brewing and cackling somewhere in the molten earth.
What do you think? Spooky or just scarily beautiful?