Cave of wonders

Ice arcs over a lone hiker in a cave at the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon along the southern coast of Iceland last Thursday.

Part of Vatnajokull National Park, the lagoon - which gets its unique blue-green hue from a mixture of salt and fresh water - has provided a mystical backdrop for Hollywood feature films and television series such as Batman Begins (2005) and Game Of Thrones (2011 to 2019).

The lake has grown as glaciers melt, and is the country's deepest lake at more than 248m deep.

Iceland's ice caves occur when water melts in a way that makes it cave-like, creating an opening from which visitors can enter and exit, although they are not allowed to explore the caves without a guided tour.

The caves are sometimes referred to as "crystal caves" due to the way the light is refracted. They take months to form.

In summer, glaciers left over from winter and spring slowly melt, creating streams of water that carve out tunnels in the glacier itself. By the time winter returns, everything is frozen solid again.

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