Iceland was one of the last places on earth that were ruled by humans.
And as these incredible photos show, we haven't done much with the place. And that can only be a good thing, since Iceland is one of the most extraordinary places on earth.
These images are from a new book in Amber Books' Visual Explorer Guide series called Iceland, by Chris McNab.
They capture Iceland's highly breathtaking landscape – Northern lights hang over mysterious rock formations, black sand beaches, geothermal pools, powerful volcanoes and majestic waterfalls.
Mr McNab says: 'Nestled in the distant, frigid north of the & # 39; Atlantic Ocean, balanced to & # 39; an edge of the Arctic Circle, Iceland has forged its own unique way of life in a landscape quite literally astounding in scale, beauty and power. It is an island that simply cannot impress. & # 39;
Scroll down to see MailOnline Travel's choice of 200 or so great images that don't appear in the book.
Mr. McNab writes: & # 39; In this scene of natural perfection, the Seljalandsfoss waterfall rolls from & # 39; e cliffs down, falling 60m (197ft) to the ground below, while the Northern Lights detect magical green patterns in the skies above. A path runs completely around & # 39; the waterfall, enabling visitors to walk behind the cascade & # 39;
& # 39; Another of & # 39; many of Iceland's many geographically hidden gems, the Fjaðrárgljúfur is an untouched and picturesque canyon that stretches for about 2 km (1.2 miles) at a depth of about 100m (328ft), & # 39; writes Mr. McNab. & # 39; It's a meandering and sinister canyon, to & # 39; a bottom line with the Fjaðrá river & # 39;
& # 39; Superlatives strive for the brutal majesty of & # 39; & # 39; describes Mr. McNab, a 396m (1300 ft) high volcanic crater, & # 39; & # 39; The crater, which is 1 km (0.6 miles) in diameter, was formed from an earth-shattering eruption in 2300 BC. The size of that event probably changed the atmosphere of & # 39; the planet & # 39;
& # 39; Hveravellir Nature Reserve (Hot Spring Fields) is a bubbling and picturesque geothermal area in & # 39; e Icelandic Highlands, nestled 650 m (2,132ft) above sea level, & # 39; writes Mr McNab. & # 39; Geysers and naturally occurring hot pools, some at an ideal bathing temperature, proliferate in a rocky wilderness with inspiring views & # 39;
& # 39; The Gullfoss Falls is a spectacular, dark natural display, the melting waters of & # 39; e on one of Iceland's largest glacier, the Langjökull, which is a distance of 32 m (105ft) in & # 39; base of & # 39; e valley falls, & # 39; writes Mr. McNab. & # 39; In & # 39; e deep winter even freezes over these rapidly flowing waters, creating immense structures of hanging ice & # 39;
Jagged basal rock columns form the Reynisdrangar Sea Cliffs in southern Iceland
Mr McNab says: & # 39; Kerið is a volcanic crater lake, in & # 39; e Western volcanic zone of Iceland. The lake at & # 39; bottom of & # 39; The impressive caldera is not deep – the maximum depth is about 14m (46ft) – but the caldera itself is 55m (180ft) deep and 270m (890ft) in circumference & # 39;
& # 39; With its famous black beaches, made by millions of years of volcanic rock sleep, Reynisfjara Beach is a predominant landscape, & # 39; says Mr. McNab. & # 39; Time and the Elements also made the famous stacks of basal pride, appearing here as hundreds of architectural pillars & # 39;
& # 39; Although the big "Bridge Between Continents" label messes up a bit with its functional appearance, & # 39; writes Mr. McNab, & # 39; This 15-meter (49-ft) footbridge actually crosses the tectonic plate boundary between Eurasia and North America. The Reykjanes Peninsula is set directly on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge & # 39;
& # 39; Abandoned & # 39; a road that does not cut across its surface, this volcanic landscape at Mývatn speaks more of prehistory than modernity, & # 39; writes Mr McNab. & # 39; Iceland has a very high concentration of active volcanoes – a total of 30 systems – due to its placement on & # 39; e Tectonic plate boundary Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) & # 39;
& # 39; A view along the Skaftafellsjökull Glacier, which & # 39; hums the viewer with its scale, & # 39; writes Mr. McNab. & # 39; The glacier measures a whopping 10 km (six miles) long and 2 km (1.2 miles) wide, cuts the glacier ice with chasms and fissures, and carries rocks and debris. The ice flows down the & # 39; s valley from the northern part of & # 39; a nearby Öræfajökull Glacier & # 39;
& # 39; With a population of about 2,600, and a setting of spectacular visual magnitude, Ísafjörður is the largest settlement in & # 39; e Westfjords, and is a popular base for exploring the surrounding countryside, & # 39; writes Mr. McNab
& # 39; In this amazing perspective on & # 39; e Hallgrímskirkja, play the lights of & # 39; e aurora borealis across the sky above the mighty tower of & # 39; e cathedral, & # 39; writes Mr. McNab. & # 39; At 74.5m (244ft), the tower was deliberately designed to be higher than that of & # 39; a Landakot Church (Landakot's Church) & # 39;
& # 39; Brúarfoss (Bridge Falls) waterfall is a step down in & # 39; a stream of & # 39; Brúará glacier river, & # 39; explains Mr. McNab. & # 39; Although the drop of & # 39; a waterfall is small – about 3m (9ft) – the intense pure, blue water creates a magical effect for the viewer & # 39;
& # 39; Mosfellsbær is located just 12 km (7 miles) east of Reykjavík, & # 39; explains Mr. McNab, & # 39; set in a rugged landscape of hills, mountains and starkly beautiful valleys; the area is especially popular with outdoor sports enthusiasts. The historic Mosfellsbaek church is the sign of spiritual refuge
& # 39; The jagged coastline of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula needs some courageous thinking in terms of road planning, & # 39; says Mr. McNab, & # 39; apparently in this dramatic bypass. The peninsula is generally 90 km (56 miles) long; most of the populated areas extend over the northern coastline and the western tip & # 39;
& # 39; Kirkjusandur Beach appears here as an immense, thick oil spill, the black volcanic sand flowing backwards from the shoreline, & # 39; writes Mr. McNab. & # 39; Although the beach is popular with tourists, it can also be dangerous, subject to sudden massive waves; deaths are not uncommon & # 39;
& # 39; Landmannalaugar, an area of mountains and deep-cut fissures and valleys, presents an extraordinary vision of geological time and power, & # 39; says Mr. McNab. & # 39; The colors in & # 39; e rocks are due to moss and to & # 39; rhyolite stone, which may present itself in a variety of red, pink, green, blue & golden-yellow tones.
& # 39; This ice cave, thinner under the spring sunshine, provides the appearance of icy cathedral skins, & # 39; writes Mr. McNab. & # 39; Landmannalaugar sits at the northern end of & # 39; e Laugavegur, one of Iceland's most popular hiking trails, and visitors love the scenery of & # 39; the warmer months often & # 39 ;.
& # 39; Here appears more like a fantasy movie set than a naturally occurring phenomenon, the Raufarhólshellir is a lava tunnel that & # 39; takes the visitor to the heart of an Icelandic volcano, & # 39; explains Mr. McNab. & # 39; The crystalline columns on & # 39; e floor are pillars of ice that form in the tunnels each winter & # 39;
All images taken from the book Iceland by Chris McNab (ISBN 978-1-78274-871-7), part of & # 39; the Visual Explorer Guide series published by Amber Books Ltd (www.amberbooks.co.uk) and available at bookstores and online bookstores (RRP £ 9.99)
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