Iceland’s largest glacier hides one of nature’s most amazing phenomena, the Anaconda Ice Cave. Its name refers to the shape of the world’s thickest snakes, which it resembles with its twisted structure. In addition, Anaconda Ice Cave is also known as Crystal Ice Cave because of its smooth blue ice, which gives the impression that it was carved from the mint of Fox Glacier.
The secret of the blue color of the ice
The blue color of ice in glacier caves is produced by the pressure of compacting ice. This pushes all the air out of the ice, making it look white instead of blue. “This is the result of a process that takes hundreds of years for snowflakes to fall, shrink and recrystallize into ice, during which air bubbles trapped in the ice will be pushed outward,” explain experts at Arctic Adventures, which organizes glacier hikes and ice cave tours.
When a piece of ice is too dense to have air in it, the light spreads deeper. The deeper the light spreads, the more red spectra it loses along the way, making the ice appear blue to our eyes. That’s why the glacial ice in Iceland has that magical, otherworldly shade of blue.
The unique beauty of Anaconda Ice Cave
Glacial caves form when the ice melts, creating waterways that carve smooth tunnels. At Anaconda Ice Cave, you can walk right into the belly of the beast and enjoy its unique beauty. Although Iceland’s glacial caves are transient and constantly changing, every visit to Anaconda Ice Cave leaves an unforgettable experience.
Iceland’s glacier cave visiting season begins in November and ends in March, when the weather is cold enough to keep the caves stable. Hotter weather in the summer can make the caves dangerous as melting resumes, but some remain frozen year-round.