The Silfra Rift is where two continents meet

The Silfra Rift is where two continents meet

Categories: Europe | Nature

Did you know that the rift between America and Eurasia runs through Iceland? Moreover, if you wish, you can scuba dive in water as clear as a tear, in a narrow crack between diverging continents and literally touch Europe and America with your own hands.

The Silfra Rift is where two continents meet

The island of Iceland is located at the junction of two lithospheric plates: the Eurasian and North American. In the depths of our planet there is constant movement, due to which the plates are constantly moving. If they collide with each other, then mountains appear at the junction, and if they diverge, cracks or rifts form in the earth's crust.

The Silfra Rift is where two continents meetThe North American and Eurasian plates move away from each other by 2-7 cm every year. Because of this, a huge crack has formed, which is visible on land (the so-called rift valley). This crack split the bottom of Lake Thingvallavatn located here, forming the Silfra lava gorge. Translated from Icelandic, "silfra" means "silver lady".

The Silfra Rift is where two continents meet In the fault zone, at the beginning of the 20th century, Thingvellir National Park was formed, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Incredibly, here you can literally cross from one continent to another by land, and in the underwater Silfra Gorge you can swim between two tectonic plates.

The Silfra Rift is where two continents meet In the narrowest places, divers have a unique opportunity to touch two continents with their hands: one hand touches Europe, and the other - America.

The Silfra Rift is where two continents meet The water in the lake is fresh and crystal clear - even professionals lose their sense of depth here, because visibility in local waters reaches 300 meters.

The Silfra Rift is where two continents meet

The water in the Silfra crack is so cold that it takes your breath away when diving. The temperature is around 2 degrees Celsius all year round as the lake replenishes itself from the melting of the Langjökull glacier on the nearby mountains. The water, going down, passes through porous underground lava for 30-50 years, being thoroughly filtered and becoming crystal clear and completely drinkable.

Photographer Alex Mustard teamed up with Wethorse Productions to capture this stunning video of the Silfra Fault dive.

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