Why Iceland smells so bad

If you ever go to Iceland (which you absolutely should), you’re bound to notice: Iceland smells bad. More specifically, the water in Iceland smells like rotten eggs. Why is that?

Geothermally heated water

One of the side effects of the volcanic activity in Iceland (besides the great sights it provides) is that it gives the Icelandic access to an inexhaustible source of warm water. This means that warm water – as well as electricity – is very affordable and environmentally friendly in Iceland. The downside is that it results in water that contains sulfur, which smell likes rotten eggs.

But there is good news too:

It is completely safe

The amount sulfur found in the water is not at all harmful. More importantly, it only affects the warm water; cold Icelandic tap water is actually some of the purest and tastiest you can find anywhere in the world.

Now that you’ve read up on this peculiarity about Icelandic water, you hopefully won’t be surprised by it the way we were. When you go to take your first shower in Iceland you won’t think the plumbing might be mouldy. You’ll know that the cause is entirely harmless and actually one of the great things about Iceland.


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