Striking similarities between Iceland and Mars

The Mars rover Curiosity has now spent 10 days on the red planet and has already sent back captivating images and videos from its surface. As with pictures from past missions to Mars, they show a lot of similarity between the landscape on our neighboring planet and the landscape of the Icelandic highlands, with its rocky surface and red soil.

One striking similarity between the two can be found near Lake Mývatn, in the North of Iceland, where the incompletely terraformed appearance of the Krafla area landscape makes a compelling resemblance to the red planet.

The picture above is by photographer Stacey Schwartz who says staying in Iceland  made him think he had landed on another world. “I just returned from Iceland where the terrain can be lush and green with hundreds of waterfalls, or barren and desolate with steam and smoke coming out of the ground. It made me think I had landed on Mars.”

Here are a few pictures from Iceland and Mars, for you to compare.

Photos by Stacey Schwartz, Stephanie Yoder and NASA.

Örlygur Hnefill

Örlygur Hnefill Örlygsson is the manager of Húsavík Hotels and co-founder of He has worked as a journalist at Fréttablaðið newspaper in Reykjavík and at the Parliament of Iceland, as an assistant to MP for North East Constituency.

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