- The remarkably simple term of Gullfoss serves as the name of a spectacular waterfall located in a highly remote geographical location. That’s because it lies in a very special portion of the southern section of the country of Iceland, situated in Europe.
- There, this truly astounding marvel of geology also forms an integral component of the Hvita River. Not surprisingly, the surrounding terrain remains extremely rugged. This occurs partly because of the fact that it stays relatively untouched by modern man.
- Intriguingly, the rapidly flowing water of the cascade originates from the second largest glacier in Iceland. This further bears the name of Langjokull. This formation additionally plays an important economical role in the region in which it formed.
- That’s because, in terms of tourist interest, the breathtaking Gullfoss easily qualifies as the most popular waterfall in all of its immediate region. This holds true for multiple reasons, including the fact that the stunning location holds great natural beauty.
- Due to a unique combination of factors, on days when the sun is shining, a stunning natural effect occurs. That’s because of the fact that a rainbow remains visible throughout the entire day. On some occasions, multiple rainbows appear visible as well.
Gullfoss Physical Description
Unlike many similar features aroung the world, the incredible Gullfoss captivates the viewer for several reasons. Its sheer beauty obviously qualifies as one of those. But its physical characteristics and global placement also serve to impress those who see its splendor.
Most notably, the staggeringly beautiful waterfall formed situated along a unique and isolated river. From that point, however, the southward-flowing body takes a decidedly sharp right turn. This deviation occurs about 0.62 mi (1 km) before reaching the waterfall.
Then, this creation of natural processes rapidly flows into a uniquely curved, three-step staircase. Subsequent to that, this marvel of Nature further plummets downward across the underlying rocks. This action takes place in two distinct and stunning stages.
The intial plunge comes in the form of a drop totaling about 36 ft (11 m). Following that action, a second, larger drop exists, that measures roughly 69 ft (21 m). The combined fall provides the formation with a moderate total decline of approximately 105 ft (32 m).
In Gullfoss, these equally lovely drops happen within an imposing, naturally formed crevice. This formation itself measures 105 ft (32 m) deep, but only 60 ft (20 m) wide. The fissure also measures about 1.6 mi (2.5 km) in length and flows perpendicular to the river itself.
Gullfoss History and Cultural Significance
Impressively, the beautiful Gullfoss stands out from other waterfalls across earth for yet another reason. This one has nothing to do with its vast visual appeal, though. That’s true since the site holds a very special place in the culture of the region in which it formed.
Throughout much of the first half of the 20th century, a very powerful international interest arose involving the site. These groups were interested in using the cascade for hydroelectric power. Foreign investors purchased the rights to the waterfall for just that reason.
Thankfully, though, the daughter of the man who owned those rights before protested vehemently. She passionately called for the preservation of the pristine beauty of the cascade. After years of court battles, the young woman unfortunately lost her case.
But the foreign owners had exhausted their funds by that time.. That partly occured due to the expense of the trials. As a result, the rights were sold to the government, which promptly established a conservation area to protect it, in response to popular demand.
Coming as no surprise to anyone who’s ever witnessed its splendor, today Gullfoss serves still another important role. It’s now one of the most popular tourist sites in the country. Combined with two other marvels, it serves as part of what’s known as the Golden Circle.