- Firstly, Gullfoss serves as the name of a spectacular waterfall located in a highly remote geographical location. That’s because it lies in southern Iceland, in Europe. Furthermore, this truly astounding marvel of geology also forms an integral component of the Hvita River.
- Further, the surrounding terrain remains extremely rugged. This occurs partly because of the fact that it stays relatively untouched by man. In addition, the rapidly flowing water of Gullfoss originates from the second largest glacier in Iceland. This further bears the name of Langjokull.
- Additionally, Gulfoss plays an important economical role in the region in which it formed. That’s because, in terms of tourist interest, this site is the most popular waterfall in all of Iceland. This holds true for multiple reasons, as the stunning location holds great natural beauty.
- Finally, due to a unique combination of factors, on days when the sun is shining, a stunning natural effect occurs. This remains true due to the fact that a rainbow remains visible throughout the entire day. However, on some occasions, multiple rainbows appear visible as well.
Gullfoss Physical Description
Most notably, the staggeringly beautiful Gullfoss formed situated in a unique and isolated location. Further, the southward-flowing river takes a decidedly sharp right turn about 0.62 mi (1 km) before reaching the waterfall. Then it rapidly flows into a uniquely curved, three-step staircase.
Subsequent to that, this marvel of Nature further plummets in two distinct and stunning stages. Firstly, a drop totaling about 36 ft (11 m) constitutes the first of these. Furthermore, a second drop measuring roughly 69 ft (21 m) represents the second of them. This gives the cascade a respectable total drop.
Finally, within Gulfoss, these two equally lovely drops take place within an imposing, naturally formed crevice. In addition, this formation itself measures 105 ft (32 m) deep, but only 60 ft (20 m) wide. The crevice itself also measures about 1.6 mi (2.5 km) in length and flows perpendicular to the river itself.
Gullfoss Cultural Significance
Additionally, Gullfoss 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, there great interest arose in utilizing the cascade as a source of hydroelectric power.
Foreign investors originally purchased the rights to the waterfall for just that reason. However, the daughter of the man who owned those rights before protested vehemently for the preservation of the pristine beauty of Gullfoss. After years of court battles, the young woman unfortunately lost her case.
However, the foreign owners had exhausted their funds, partly 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.