lifeandprimes asked: I really want to move to Iceland after I graduate but I was researching a bit and saw that you are right on top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and it freaked me out a little. Is it dangerous? Will I die if I move to Iceland?
Will you die? Well it mainly depends on how long you live there. Personally I plan to die there one day in the far future. As long as you remember the basic eating, breathing and drinking. You will live a long life in Iceland. Might even be a really long life. Iceland has the highest life expectancy in the world for men at 80.2 and second highest in the world for women at 85.3.
True, Iceland is the child left behind by the breakup of the North Atlantic and Eurasian continental plates. The plates are drifting apart leaving a void that needs to be filled. That void is filled up by lava and that’s how Iceland has formed. It’s just a bunch of lava that has flowed to the surface. The lava still flows to the surface and Iceland is growing (1 cm each direction per year). If you look back the past few million years you’d see that there have been eruptions on average every five years. Most however come in cycles.
I’m not gonna lie to you, we have a wide variety of natural disasters in Iceland. Earthquakes, eruptions, glacier flash floods, avalanches and some pretty damn gnarly weather.
However, we’re pretty used to this stuff. We have a few dozen earthquakes around the country every day. Every few years we get big ones, but since our plates are drifting apart, not crashing together, we don’t get anything like in Japan. Our houses easily withstand these things. Eruptions are mostly predictable. That is almost all eruptions come from volcanoes that we know and don’t live to close to. We just get bothered by the ash a couple of times per century. Ash is almost never dangerous, just annoying. We did however have an eruption in downtown Vestmannaeyjar in 1973. It destroyed many homes, but nobody died. The glacier floods always go down the same paths, so nobody lives there. Avalanches are as dangerous as everywhere else. In 1995, Iceland’s worst natural disaster for centuries, occurred when two villages in the Westfjords were hit by avalanches. Several people died. The result however is that avalanches are now well researched and possible avalanche paths mapped out. Barriers have been built to protect these villages today.
All in all you’ll probably live a long calm life in Iceland, cause it’s a niceland. I wouldn’t want to be without our nature that keeps throwing surprises at us.