Iceland has blocked the millions of tourists who descend upon the volcanic island each year from visiting a canyon that has been overrun since it was featured in a Justin Bieber music video.
An influx of tourists and a humid winter have disrupted the Fjadrargljufur canyon’s fragile ecosystem, so the Environment Agency of Iceland has closed the site to the public until June 1.
“During periods of thaw, the path is completely muddy and is practically unusable for hikers,” agency advisor Daniel Freyr Jonsson told AFP on Thursday.
“Because the mud is so thick, visitors step over the fences and walk parallel to the path, which rapidly damages the plant life,” he added.
Fjadrargljufur is a gorge about 100 meters (yards) deep and two kilometres (1.25 miles) long, with steep green walls and a winding riverbed. The canyon was created by progressive erosion from water melting from glaciers 9,000 years ago.