Iceland Mag

3 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Photograph captures "the beast" that is the ocean, crashing in on Reynisfjara beach

By Staff

  • Magnificient but dangerous It's not only that the waves on Reynisfjara beach can be extremely powerful - they can also be completely unpredictable. Photo/Haukur Snorrason, Facebook. 

Local photographer Haukur Snorrason took this photograph on Reynisfjara beach, which was the site of a fatal accident earlier this month. A wave crashed in, knocking down a 40 year old Chinese man, dragging him to the sea where he drowned before rescue units could reach him. This year the beach has seen a number of other extremely close calls, when travellers have been rescued by onlookers and tour guides after being knocked down by waves.

Read more: Photos: Travellers in grave danger on Reynisfjara beach, narrowly escape being swept away by waves

Haukur shared the photograph, which he named "The Beast", in a Facebook forum dedicated to the Icelandic tourism industry last week to remind people of the dangers posed by the ocean. Haukur argued the wave in the photograph was a perfect example of why Reynisfjara is one of the most dangerous tourist destinations in Iceland:

"The wave in the photograph is probably 4-6 meters high (13-20 feet), and it’s deadly. The waves which were coming in during the 5-10 minutes before this wave hit were only 1-2 meters high (3-7 feet), no danger there. But therein lies the danger, the big ones can come in, all of a sudden, much larger than those before, like a tsunami" 

Reynisfjara beach, the beast

"The Beast" Reynisfjara beach by Haukur Snorrason


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