Guest Videos: Prestahnúkur

This Icelandic volcano is not a likely threat or a big tourist attraction, but it’s ideal for Halloween because of this story:

The name means “peak of the priests”.

The origin of the name was an expedition of two priests into the highlands in the 17th century. It was seen as quite an enterprise at the time when they went into this region. They explored especially a valley behind the Þórisjökull called Þórisdalur, which had a bad reputation in sagas and folk stories because it was believed to be haunted by ghosts and that lawless people would be living there. As is clear today, they found nothing of the sort, but they were regarded as heroes when they came back from this expedition.


Here are a couple of drone videos. Unfortunately, there’s no music, but you must admit that Prestahnúkur has a dramatic presence.

And yes, it’s active and monitored.

The featured image is a screenshot from this video.

Proper setting for a haunted valley!

Nerds might be wondering why Prestahnúkur is gray, not the usual dark basalt rock of Icelandic volcanoes that have recently made the news.

That’s because Prestahnúkur is one of this hotspot’s rare rhyolite volcanoes.

Rhyolite, as far as I know, is more typical of volcanism in subduction zones — a VERY different plate-tectonic setting — so scientists welcome any opportunity, however unexpected, to study it in Iceland.

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