Lava, not trolls, formed strange rock pillars in Iceland

10/11/2013 |

Local legend attributes the weird pillars of rock in Iceland's Skaelinger Valley to a troll war, but a new study says the rocky structures were more likely formed by creeping lava flow mixed with water. Usually when lava mixes with water on land, the result is either explosive steam or pillow-shaped lava rocks, so the pillar-shaped rocks were a surprise. "These had never been observed or described before as features seen on land. They've been described at mid-ocean ridges 2 miles under water," said University at Buffalo geologist Tracy Gregg, the study's co-author.

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