Iceland Mag

11 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


An apocalyptic swarm of black flies at Lake Mývatn

By Matt Eliason

  • Mývatn Lake is home to swarms of Black Flies in Mid-June. Photo/ Vilhelm Gunnarsson

Be sure to bring your insect repellent and a protective head net because the Icelandic black flies, known as midges, have overrun Lake Mývatn Although the harmless creatures only live for seven days, the amazing quantity found on the lake creates an apocalyptic swarm that is so dense it blocks out the picturesque scenery of the mountains.

Árni Einarsson, a biologist at the Nature research station at Mývatn, says that the amazing amount of black flies usually reaches its peak every seven years, and we are currently at that peak.

The black flies usually appear in mid-June and regular mosquito repellent works against them. There are, however, no mosquitoes in Iceland.

Here is an amazing video of the midges swarms from last year.


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