You may think the Blue Lagoon in Iceland is essentially a nature-made spa, but did you know it’s also the source of immense amounts of geothermal power?
The island of Iceland was formed from volcanic forces and many active volcanoes reside there today. As a result, Iceland has an immense amount of geothermal energy at its disposal, which they use to power nearly everything.
The lagoon itself is a result of that geothermal power, containing run-off water from a nearby geothermal power plant. Don’t worry though, the water isn’t polluted, rather its unique mineral composition can only be cycled through the turbines once and can’t be reused for energy production.
Due to Iceland’s high concentration of volcanoes, the volcanic ash and presence of lava result in a higher concentration of certain minerals in the soil than would exist in other parts of the world. The water from the Blue Lagoon is also heavily mineralized, containing high concentrations of silica which is what gives the water its signature blue hue.
The Blue Lagoon became a popular tourist attraction as word spread regarding the lagoon’s healing properties due to its high content of certain minerals like silica and sulfur. The medicinal properties of the lagoon were said to have a positive effect on people who were suffering from skin conditions such as psoriasis.
By 1981, word had been spread and people were flocking to the magical healing lagoon. Now, the area is also surrounded by other spa-related activities to complement a soothing and luxurious soak in the Blue Lagoon.
The water in the Blue Lagoon is heated to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which allows patrons to soak in the water comfortably despite the freezing temperatures outdoors. The water remains so warm because it is brought up from roughly 6,500 feet within the earth. The lagoon contains over 6 million liters of water and it reaches 1.6 meters deep.
Due to the speculation on the lagoon’s mineral properties, the Blue Lagoon has been the subject of some research studies. The Svartsengi Power Plant is involved in research regarding how quickly the mineral deposits form, which will allow them to monitor the environmental impact of geothermal energy on Iceland. Additionally, the Blue Lagoon Company operates a research facility that explores how skin diseases can be helped or cured using mineral-rich water.