5 Things About The Blue Lagoon That Will Surprise You
The Blue Lagoon, an immensely popular geothermal spa located in Iceland, was named one of the 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic —and for a good reason. Floating in the warm milky-blue water of the Blue Lagoon surrounded by an otherworldly landscape is indeed a unique experience for the mind and the body.
This spa is located in an extraordinary landscape that is surrounded by lava rocks. The lagoon is filled with steaming mineral-rich water that comes from 1,600 feet below the surface of the Earth.
I was quite amazed when I visited the Blue Lagoon at how different it was from anywhere else on Earth that I had been. Here's some surprising things that I discovered about this unusual place.
#1 The Milky Blue Water Is Runoff From A Geothermal Power Plant
Many people that visit the Blue Lagoon believe that it is a natural phenomenon. However, that isn’t entirely true. In 1976, the Blue Lagoon was formed by accident.
In 1974, a local power company constructed the Svartsengí Geothermal Power Plant to supply homes with hot water. A pool of perfectly clean, steaming blue water soon formed as a byproduct of the power plant. The water has a high concentration of minerals, which gives it the striking blue color. The minerals also have healing powers. Several research studies have documented the healing effects of the mineral-rich water. The water has been found to help psoriasis and other skin conditions as well as fight aging.
People started flocking to the milky blue waters of the lagoon in the early 1990s after hearing about its medicinal properties. Soon after, access to the Blue Lagoon became regulated, and bathing facilities were constructed. The Blue Lagoon officially opened to the public as a geothermal spa in the early 1990s. Since then, millions of visitors have lounged in its blue waters.
#2 You Must Shower Completely Naked Before Entering The Lagoon
Iceland has strict hygiene codes. Similar to other geothermal pools around the country, visitors to the Blue Lagoon must shower completely naked before getting in the pool. And, the Blue Lagoon is strict about this. The attendant will not let you through to the lagoon if you haven’t showered. Showing in the nude helps ensure that the water stays nice and clean.
Don’t let the idea of showering nude in front of strangers put you off. The shower rooms are divided by sex, and there are even private shower stalls inside each shower room. So, you can have privacy.
#3 The Silica In The Water Will Temporarily Destroy Your Hair
An interesting feature of the Blue Lagoon is the high level of silica. The lagoon gets its unique blue color from the silica. While silica will not damage your hair, it can cause it to become dry, stiff and hard to manage. To keep silica from getting into your hair, either put your hair up into a ponytail or use a swim cap before entering the water. Also, make sure that you use the unique complimentary conditioner provided in the shower area. Leave it in while you bathe in the Blue Lagoon. This condition is specially formulated to prevent silica build-up. After bathing in the water, condition and rinse your hair several times. This will ensure that you get all of the silica out.
#4 You Should Visit Even If It Is Snowing Or Sleeting Outside
Don’t skip a visit to the Blue Lagoon because of cold temperatures. The Blue Lagoon is fantastic no matter how frigid the temperatures outside. The contrast between the cold air and the warm water is terrific. Floating in the warm water of the lagoon while gazing at the snow-capped mountains beyond is magical. The water stays between 98 to 102 degrees Fahrenheit, no matter how chilly the weather. While it can be cold when you walk between the lagoon and the bathing area, you don’t even have to go outside to enter the lagoon. You can enter the water from indoors thanks to a special entrance.
#5 The Mineral-Rich Water Has Healing Powers
Right after the Blue Lagoon formed in the mid-1970s, local people with eczema and other skin conditions started noticing a marked improvement in their skin after bathing in the milky blue waters and applying silica-rich mud to their faces.
The Blue Lagoon quickly established a Research and Development division to study the effects of the mineral-rich waters. Since 1994, numerous research studies have examined the healing properties of the Blue Lagoon.
The geothermal seawater contains silica, minerals and algae. These ingredients are well-
known for their positive effects on the skin. Silica strengthens the skin while algae has anti-aging properties. Together, these two elements help beautify the skin and clear the complexion.
Studies have found that the algae present in the geothermal water help reduce the destruction of collagen in the skin that results from UV damage. Furthermore, the algae help stimulate the skin’s natural production of collagen. Collagen is one of the key elements in maintaining radiant, youthful skin. This alone is enough reason to visit the Blue Lagoon!