Iceland Mag

8 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

General

Pele's hair spun by the wind in the central highlands

By Staff

  • These little wads of hair are called “Nornahár” in Icelandic, meaning Witch’s Hair. Photo/Þorvaldur Þórðarson, Jarðvísindastofnun Íslands

Strands of hair have been spotted tumbling along the ground near the Holuhraun eruption site.

These little wads of hair are called “Nornahár” in Icelandic, meaning Witch’s Hair, and are in fact volcanic glass threads formed when small particles of molten material are flung with great force up into the air where they are spun by the wind into these long hair-like strands. The phenomenon is known as Pele’s hair in English, derived from the Haiwaiian goddess of Volcanoes, Pele.

Related content

Editor's Picks