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Iceland to Open Volcano and Earthquake Museum

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You may even learn how to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull when you visit.

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The world has learned quite a bit about Iceland as a result of the island nation’s rise to travel stardom over the last few years.

First on the list: how to spell and say Eyjafjallajökull, an active volcano that last erupted in 2010 and represents one of the most challenging Icelandic words for English speakers to pronounce. (It’s ei-ya-fyat-LA-yer-kitle, for those who were wondering.) 

Second: that Iceland gets a ton of powerful earthquakes—so many that it makes California seem downright still.

Now, Iceland will celebrate its crazy geology in a new museum, located about an hour east of Reykjavík. According to an article in the Guardian, the attraction, named Lava: the Iceland Volcano & Earthquake Centre, will spotlight volcanoes, tectonics, and other natural forces that led to Iceland’s creation millions of years ago.

The museum is slated to open June 1; admission starts around 2,200 Iceland krona, or US$20. 

Located in the town of Hvolsvöllur, the facility sits among three of the country’s most active volcanoes: Eyjafjallajökull, Katla, and Hekla. Visitors can gaze upon the trio from a 360-degree viewing platform. 

Inside the museum, perhaps the most notable exhibit will be “The Fiery Heart of Iceland,” a room designed to look like the inside of Earth’s mantle and a 30-foot-tall sculpture simulating lava flow beneath the surface.

The Guardian story noted that visitors will also be able to walk through an artificial smoke cloud, experience a simulated ash cloud from an eruption, and explore a lava tube–like corridor that illustrates the real-world consequences of a magma flow. 

Other exhibitions will focus on specific earthquakes and volcanic eruptions that have occurred in Iceland over the past century. There even will be HD footage of recent eruptions playing on loop.

The Lava Centre isn’t the only recent attraction to pay tribute to Iceland’s geology. In the past 18 months, the country also has opened the world’s largest man-made ice cave in the Langjökull ice cap and debuted a new walkway in Víðgelmir, the country’s largest lava cave.

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