A winding road by a glacial river in the Highlands of Iceland
© Kevin Krautgartner/Offset by Shutterstoc
Up in the Highlands (of Iceland)
There's a good chance that the people in the car in this photo, winding along a remote road in the Highlands of Iceland, won't encounter any other visitors to this desolate region. Accessible only during the summertime, the Icelandic Highlands are a volcanic desert. Frequent volcanic activity in the area creates a porous topsoil full of chemical compounds that are no friends to plants. Much of the rainfall is quickly absorbed so plants only grow along glacial rivers. Despite this seemingly inhospitable environment, adventurous travellers come here every summer to experience an ecosystem which is so unearthly, it was used for training missions for some of Nasa’s Apollo astronauts.