| ||This volcanic cone made up of ashes and projections of solidified lava in the south of the island was created by one of the numerous eruptions that occurred beneath the ice cap of the Myrdalsjökull glacier before it detached itself. The Maelifell volcano was released from the glacier about 10 000 years ago is now bathed in the rivers that flow from it. Its perfect cone which is 200 m above the plain is covered with grimmia, moss that grows on lava that has cooled down and changes colour, from silvery grey to bright green, depending on the soil humidity level. This moss is one of the few plants that has been able to grown on Iceland's territory. It is indeed characterised by a certain botanical poverty with less than 1 300 vegetal species (including 500 species of moss). Only 40% of land is covered in permanent vegetation. Iceland (it name says it all, "the land of ice") is geologically very young at only 23 million years old. It has over 200 active volcanoes and many glaciers that cover almost an eighth of the island's surface area.
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