What To Name The New Lava Field

What To Name The New Lava Field

Published September 2, 2014

Photos by
Jarðivísindastofnun

As the Holuhraun eruption has spead lava over a wide swath of the country, Icelanders now ask themselves: what should we name the new lava field?

As reported, magma pouring from the kilometres-long fissure in Holuhraun has now spread over an area comprising some 4 km2. When all is said and done, a new lava field will be born, which raises the important question of what to call it. Numerous suggestions have been brought up in the Icelandic media lately.

MBL reports a number of suggested new names for the lava field. On the more obvious end of the scale, some have suggested Bárðahraun, as a portmanteau of the Bárðarbunga volcano and “hraun” (the names of lava fields in Icelandic end with the -hraun suffix, literally meaning “lava”) as well as Dyngjuhraun, after the Dyngjujökull glacier where the magma eruption was initially spotted. Another popular choice has been Ómars­hraun, named after the popular Icelandic journalist and environmentalist Ómar Ragnarsson.

However, many Icelanders are taking the lava-field-naming business to more unorthodox levels. For example, the MBL article mentions the suggestion Eng­inn-má-taka-mynd­ir-nema-fjöl­miðlar-hraun (“No one-may-take-pictures-except-the media-hraun”), presumably suggested by amateur photographers who were forbidden from getting near the eruption.

Vísir reports hundreds of suggestions for their part. Amongst the more entertaining suggestions are the following:

Fjölmiðlahraun, or “media lava”, given the decidedly photogenic nature of the eruption from whence the lava sprung.

Míluhraun, after the ISP which provides a live feed of the eruption, Míla.

Lekahraun, as a play on the word “leak”, referring both to the relatively steady flow of lava from the eruption and a certain popular news story involving the Interior Minister.

Litlahraun, literally “little lava”, which also happens to be the name of a prison.

Góu Hraun and Hraun-Æði, both which are names of popular Icelandic candies.

For the moment, Drekahraun (“dragon lava”), Litlahraun and Ómarshraun are the most popular choices amongst Vísir readers.


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