Iceland's Gag-Inducing Mud Pots

Jeremy's rating: ★★★★☆

The mud pots are metal in only the way something can be in a land settled by Vikings - giant plumes of (gag-inducingly smelly) sulfurous smog bursting from the ground as boiling acidic water eats away at the ground itself, leaving beautiful mineral displays. Amazing!

Jen's rating: ★★☆☆☆

Let me tell you how much I enjoyed waking up from a pleasant car nap to the terrible, atrocious, and gag-worthy smell of rotten eggs. NOT AT ALL. Gag reflexes were up and at 'em. Take a regular hot spring and multiple the smell by 100. If you can hold your breath, at least you can grab some cool smoke-filled shots.

Be glad this isn't a scratch and sniff.

Be glad this isn't a scratch and sniff.

We weren't far from the edge of Lake Myvatn when the smell began to take hold. No normal smell, this acrid funk was enough to wake Jen up from a nap and cause us to do a frantic double-check that all the car's windows were closed. 

They were, and that was when we knew that we had arrived. 

A couple of hundred feet away from us, huge plumes of steam gushed into the air from deep underground. As we pulled up, we saw the sign announcing our location — the Námafjall Hveraröndor Hverir bubbling mud pots. 

Exceptionally muddy, and exceeding smelly, the mud pots are like nothing you've ever see before. Fueled by geothermal activity, the boiling water spews a sulfurous miasma into the air that sterilizes and kills everything around it.

Seriously, the mud pots are metal as fuck. The surrounding area is so acidic that no local flora or fauna can live there, leaving behind a fully alien landscape of boiling water eating away at the earth as toxic flumes float gently into the atmosphere. 

And when we say toxic, we mean it. The fumes can be harmful for people too, so enjoy the mud pots quickly ... although, if you're anything like Jen, you might be ready to leave immediately. 

But still, for however long you're there, take in the earth's wild geothermal abilities and keep an eye out for the stunning swirling mineral colors on display in the mud. It might just be one of the most impressive things you'll see in Iceland. 

Jeremy being a smokey, smug bastard engulfed in the mud pots.

Jeremy being a smokey, smug bastard engulfed in the mud pots.

How to get here: 

The mud pots are directly off of Highway 1, the Ring Road. Traveling counter-clockwise around Iceland, the mud pots will be on your left hand side just before you reach Lake Myvatn. It's impossible to miss, though. You'll smell them and see the steam long before you drive past them.