ATLAS OBSCURA

Midlina - Iceland

Iceland is slowly being pulled in two. At a rate of 2.5 centimeters per year, the mid-Atlantic ridge is pulling apart the North American and Eurasian plates. While most of this happens deep on the ocean floor, in Iceland the ridge — a major tectonic plate boundary that sits between the North American and Eurasian plates — runs right through the middle of the island. A large fissure can be seen running across the land and splitting rock formations down the middle.

In the eerie, otherworldly landscape of the vast lava fields on the Reykjanes Peninsula, the “Leif the Lucky” bridge crosses one of these rifts created by the mid-Atlantic ridge. The bridge is named after the famous explorer Leif Ericson, who was known for being the first Icelander to set foot in North America over 2,000 years ago. It also serves as a symbol for the connection between two continents, Europe and North America, new world and old.

Find out how to walk in the footsteps of gods at Midlina on Atlas Obscura…