From Iceland — Lava Show Opens In Reykjavík

Lava Show Opens In Reykjavík

Published November 28, 2022

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Residents and tourists of the capital, now have a chance to see lava flowing in the city centre of Reykjavík for the first time since the Elliðaárdalur lava field was formed some 4800 years ago.

On November 10th, Lava Show opened at Fiskislóð 73 in the Grandi Harbour District downtown. This is the first lava show in the world, and it has become extremely popular since it since its original opening in Vík in 2018. Founded by a married couple, Júlíus Ingi Jónsson and Ragnhildur Ágústdóttir, the show recreates a volcanic eruption by superheating real lava up to 1100 degrees Celsius and then pouring it into a showroom full of people. It is a unique experience that allows everyone to see how lava is formed in a controlled environment.

The founders were inspired by the volcanic eruption at Fimmvörðuháls in 2010.

“Witnessing this eruption was unforgettable, and we immediately started thinking how we could recreate this experience in a safe environment and make it available to as many people as possible. It took us years to figure out how and it wasn’t until 2018, that we finally opened the Lava Show in Vík,” says Júlíus.

The couple has been dreaming of opening an exhibition in Reykjavík for some time. “We now have a showroom in Vík and Reykjavík, two Lava Shows that are independent of each other but work great together as well. We are thrilled to bring this remarkable display of molten lava to the capital city of Iceland,” says Ragnhildur.

In the few years Lava Show has welcomed thousands of visitors from all over the world and received numerous awards, including one for the Golden Egg competition, the country’s largest entrepreneurship contest.

A custom-made furnace is used by Lava Show in Reykjavík. It was designed by a company known for making rocket components for SpaceX and Blue Origin. “Sustainability is very important to us and we use environmentally friendly methods to heat up the lava. The energy source is methane gas, produced from organic waste by the local garbage company. We are literally heating up the lava with rotten banana peels,” Júlíus says. “We also recycle the lava that we use between shows and use the excess heat from the furnace to heat up the entire building. This is very green lava,” adds Ragnhildur.

The Lava Show not only offers an epic volcanic display with flowing lava, but also provides extensive knowledge and trivia about Icelandic geology and volcanoes, presented in a fun and understandable way. “We want this to be the most entertaining geology lesson in the world,” says Júlíus, and adds: “I think we’ve nailed it!”

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