Everything you need to know about Iceland’s Blue Lagoon before visiting

The Blue Lagoon is special in many ways and although it was not created by Mother Nature, it offers all of its benefits.

Few hot springs are mentioned as much as Iceland’s Blue Lagoon. As one of the country’s most popular attractions, it draws thousands of people year after year to its warm, warm waters. Before arriving at the Blue Lagoon, it is quite possible that many people don’t even know what makes it so special or the fact that it is not even made by nature. It’s a large, man-made geothermal pool that is said to have healing powers as well – but how? And why?

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These are just a few of the questions visitors should know the answers to before setting foot in the cool blue waters of this lagoon. It’s an amazing place to visit and take a bath, but it’s even more admirable if you know the why and how of its inner workings. It’s the only one of its kind in the world that has placed it pretty high on everyone’s destination list, and if it’s on yours, then you’ve come to the right place. That’s all you need to know about Iceland’s easily accessible geothermal pool before you go.

It sounds completely natural, but it’s actually man-made

Even so, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the water in the lagoon – if anything, it is actually incredibly healthy for the skin (more on this later) due to the minerals that exist in it. water through a natural process. The lagoon was formed in 1976 due to the geothermal power plant which is located right next to it. The job of the geothermal power plant is to drill for hot water and steam, and the water runoff is what helped create the Blue Lagoon.

aerial view of the blue lagoon

via Edwin Verin / Shutterstock.com

When people hear “sewage, they often think of something dirty, polluted and contaminated – and the Blue Lagoon is none of that. The water that is piped into the lagoon is clean, fresh and supercharged with natural minerals that have been shown to relieve skin conditions. In fact, the water is completely replaced every 48 hours as new runoff constantly replaces the water that is channeled into the lagoon. Therefore, the inner workings of the Blue Lagoon are not only fascinating, but also incredibly intelligent. Rather than letting the water go to waste when it is so full of minerals – which cannot be used by homes for heating and the like – it is instead used as a holistic thermal spa.

How it works and why it is so “healing”

All of this obviously raises the question of how and why people started swimming in the lagoon. It’s not every day that a person walks by a giant thermal pool and decides to take a dip in it, but the Blue Lagoon was a unique case. For starters, the origin of water and its mineral content were well known, unlike other natural hot springs which must be chemically tested before they are considered safe. The first person to dive into the pool was Valur Margeirsson, and it was he who gave the lagoon its name. Margeirsson suffered from psoriasis, an often painful skin condition, and was eager to try something new as a treatment. Knowing how beneficial the minerals in the Blue Lagoon could be, he went for a swim and, voila, found some relief. This was in 1981 and in 1987 the lagoon was open to the public for people with similar skin issues.

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Interestingly, while relief from some skin conditions has been attributed to minerals in lagoon water, it is not clear exactly why this helps improve skin conditions. Besides silica, the lagoon is also home to a specific type of bacteria that only grow in its waters, as well as blue-green algae that give the Blue Lagoon its characteristic hue. Apart from this, chloride and natron are also present and create natural sea salt, which has long been praised to be beneficial for the skin. Additional minerals include calcium, sulfur, magnesium, and carbonate.

a woman with mud on her face in the blue lagoon

via Shutterstock

These things are so beneficial that Lagoon started offering specific skin treatments in 1994 and continues to offer personalized treatments today. When visiting the Blue Lagoon, it is not uncommon to see people picking up mud from below and applying it to their faces, arms, legs, and wherever they might be irritated. With the surrounding volcanic landscape being such a beautiful setting for this lagoon, it’s easy to see how healing these waters would be just from the stress that vanishes when you relax in them.

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