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Iceland Mag


Is it our car? Travellers find their vehicle floating among icebergs at Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon

By Staff

  • A surreal sight The car floated on the surface for up to 10 minutes before disappeering into the deep water. Photo/Justin Benttinen

How unlucky can you be? On the final day of their journey around Iceland a young couple found their rental car floating among icebergs on Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in South Iceland. Thankfully no one was in the car when it went into the freezing water, eyewitness Jónas Jónasson told local news site Vísir.


Going down The lights of the car came on as it started to sink. Photo/Justin Benttinen

Jónas, an Icelandic tour guide, had a little earlier seen the young couple arrive in their car and park it next to his car.

Jónas was travelling with a group of seven foreigners and they became extremely alarmed when they noticed the vehicle in the lagoon. "We first thought there might be someone in the car, it was a surreal sight," he told Vísir. But then a voice sounded asking "Is it our car?" It was the young couple who had been driving the car, he from France and she from Taiwan. 

The car floated among the icebergs for a few minutes before disappeering into the depth of the lagoon. According to Jónas the couple's luggage, passport and travel documents were in the car, which now resides at the bottom of the lagoon. Except a single backpack that floated up and a bystander managed to fish out of the water.

It could be quite tricky or even impossible to get the car out of the lagoon, which is up to 248 m (814 ft) deep.

People, never forget to confirm that the handbrake is on.


Backpack rescue Everything else plunged into the deep and freezing cold water. Photo/Justin Benttinen

Update 4 November: The car last seen floating among icebergs might be gone forever

Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon
This is one of Iceland’s most spectacular natural wonders. With its luminous blue-white icebergs, it will take your breath away every time, no matter how often you have visited its shore.

Read more: Tour guide shocked to see how recklessly people behaved at Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon

The name literally means glacial river lagoon—a transparent name indeed. The lagoon covers about 22 km2 (8.5 sq mi), from the base of Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, to the edge of Iceland’s southeast coast. Only a sliver of solid ground separates it from the North Atlantic ocean.

Traveling Highway 1 (the Ring Road) between the town of Höfn town and Skaftafell national park, you can see the lagoon from the road. From spring to late autumn you can take a boat trip on the lagoon with seasoned tour operators.

A live view of Jökulsárlón is offered by the webcam of the telecommunications company Síminn at

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