While Iceland’s population of 321,000 makes it the most sparsely populated country in Europe, the island nation makes up for it in its density of absolutely stunning landscapes. Lakes and glaciers comprise around 14% of the island’s surface, and geysers–including Geysir, the geyser for which all others are named–dot the rugged terrain and add an almost mystical volatility to the otherworldly atmosphere.
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Despite the pristine pictures above, Iceland is not immune from environmental degradation: years of deforestation and overgrazing courtesy of imported fauna have taken their toll, and many farms are now being abandoned. Not all is lost, though. In efforts to reunite man with his maker, Icelanders have made good use of geothermal power, which allows them to acquire heat, electricity and water at little to no cost to them…or the environment.