The name "Iceland" is not really an accurate one for that nation. Of the country's 103,000 square kilometers, only 12% is covered in ice! There are other natural features that might give the country a better name. Maybe it should be called "Geyser-land" or "Geothermal-land."
Each year, more and more tourists set their sights on Iceland, in part because of the country's beautiful natural features. The landscape includes hot springs, glaciers, geysers, waterfalls, lava deserts, and active volcanoes. Iceland was formed from volcanic activity on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. Today, it is one of the most volcanically active places in the world. Because it sits on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland averages some volcanic activity once every 5 years. If you were to visit Iceland, you could see volcanoes and lava fields, whose heat gives the Icelandic landscape a colorful, eerie glow.
The country's volcanic base also contributes to its geothermal activity. Do you know what "geothermal" means? The word "geothermal" comes from the Greek words "geo," meaning "earth," and "therme," meaning "heat." Like the Sun, the Earth's interior provides heat energy from nature. This geothermal energy can provide power that is pollution-free. Geothermal energy is Iceland's second most common source of energy. In fact, 85% of its homes are heated with geothermal energy. Geothermal heat enables Iceland to reduce its dependence on foreign oil and protect its environment at the same time. Reykjavik, Iceland's capital, uses geothermal heat to pipe hot water to every house at a cost lower than supplying cold water.
Iceland's geothermal activity also helps to create a land of active geysers. The geothermal heat from the Earth's core flows outward toward the Earth's surface. When it doesn't quite reach the surface, it heats the water and rock below it. Some of this geothermal water is forced up through cracks in the Earth's surface, resulting in geysers.
Despite the fact that only a small percentage of Iceland is covered with ice, the country is home to beautiful glaciers and mountain peaks that were created during the Ice Age. Iceland's unique landscape owes its features to the ice that carved them. So what's the best name for this country? Maybe its nickname, "Land of Fire and Ice," best describes what the country known as Iceland really is.