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Millions of years ago, lava erupted out of cracks in the earth's crust, cooling from both the top and bottom; it shrunk, cracked, and formed crystallized basalt columns. The aftermath of this quick cooling lava is earth's eerie reminder that even all-powerful Mother Nature likes to play with blocks.  
Credit: Franz Aberham/Digital Vision 
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You'll find these famous formations in Giant's Causeway off the northern coast of Ireland; Devil's Postpile in California; and the Isle of Staffa in Scotland's Inner Hebrides archipelago, as well as Svartifoss waterfall in Iceland's Skaftafell National Park.  
Credit: Daveness_98/Flickr 
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American astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, have traveled to Iceland's volcanic landscape in the past to prepare for lunar landings, the closest approximation on earth to the moon's surface.  
Credit: sochacki.info/Flickr 
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Iceland's dramatic waterfalls are just one of many geographic features that add to the country's natural beauty.  
Credit: o palsson/Flickr 
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Iceland's burpy topography spits up more than just lava; geysers and boiling mud often bubble to the surface.  
Credit: moohaha/Flickr 
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Daily being shaped into a different landmass, the volcanic island of Iceland is constantly spewing lava, bubbling hot springs, and floating masses of glacial ice.  
Credit: o palsson/Flickr 
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Vibrant villages dot the lusciously green landscape framed in therapeutically blue waters where some of the most spectacular whale watching is yours to be had. Pictured here is the city of Reykjavik, one of the most vibrant and quirky cities in Iceland.  
Credit: Rene Frederick/Digital Vision 
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Icelandic horses often have up to five gaits. The 'tolt' and 'pace' come just as naturally to them as the walk, trot, and gallop.  
Credit: david.nikonvscanon/Flickr 
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Although they are small in size, almost pony-like, they mostly register as horses. Law prevents any outside horses from being brought into the country, and once an Icelandic horse is exported, it cannot come back in.  
Credit: Image Source 
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Icelanders live in quite the fairytale land—rainbows, barn-size icebergs, turf-topped houses, wild horses, volcanoes, the northern lights, and the exaggerated contrast of green grass contiguous to blue waters.  
Credit: Getty 
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But it isn't just the landscape that has the Icelandic thinking Dr. Seuss. 'From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere!' Polls show that elves are a huge part of the country's folklore; just over half of locals believe in the tiny creatures inhabiting the underside of rocks.  
Credit: Martino!/Flickr 
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Occasionally, their believed existence disrupts the flow of business—roads are built around their homes, and buildings aren't constructed before the site is declared elf-free.  
Credit: Arctic-Images/Photodisc 
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Being the least populated country in Europe, you will rarely fight crowds or trudge along the typical tourist trail. All seasons are worthy of a visit, with long summer days bordered with magnificent displays of wildflowers.  
Credit: halighalie/Flickr 
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Breathtaking beauty comes in the form of a prismatic winter sky when atmospheric phenomenons infiltrate the wide-open Icelandic heavens.  
Credit: Deivis/Flickr 
 
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