The volcanism caused by divergence of the Middle Atlantic Ridge creates a hot spot under Iceland. These unique circumstances on the ridge probably are the reason for the country’s existence, because the tectonic movement of the plates and the related volcanism would not have sufficed. The magnificent and distinctive geothermal areas are one of the main characteristics of Icelandic nature and are almost unparalleled in the world. Their diversity is high, both in relation to geology and mineralogy as well as biology, but in many of these areas endemic species of thermophilic (heat-loving) microbes can be found, having adapted to very extreme habitats. (source: Icelandic Environment Association – photo: www.pixabay.com).