The Underwater World

Explore the mysteries of Iceland's ocean

Virtual Fish Tank

Since the earliest settlements, Icelanders have always depended on the ocean for their livelihood. The ocean and its currents influence weather and climate, and shape the conditions for life in Iceland. Those currents also heavily influence Iceland’s shallow-shelf and deep-water ecosystems.

Go on a cinematic underwater journey around Iceland. You meet tiny algae, giant whales, and everything in between.

Virtual fish tank

Ocean Currents

Iceland sits where three powerful ocean currents meet. The Irminger Current brings warm, salty water from the south. The fast-moving East Greenland Current washes Icelandic coastal waters in less salty, cold water. The Transpolar Drift brings more cold water south from the polar region.

Iceland’s location and dominant currents create a unique mix of temperate and polar species in the same water at the same time.

The Underwater Community

At Perlan, guests can explore how Iceland’s waters teem with life drawn here from both cold and temperate zones. Some of these species travel far and wide to other parts of the world, but Iceland is the only place where you can find them all mixing together.

An interactive experience mixed with captivating information makes this exhibit both fun and educational.

Virtual fish tank
Ocean and whales



Iceland is home to over 20 baleen and toothed whale species, of which 12 are commonly seen. Ocean currents, freshwater runoff, and regular upwelling create an ecosystem rich in photosynthesizing phytoplankton and the small animals on which whales feed.

Whales also give back to this ecosystem, circulating nutrients from lower regions to the surface through a process known as a “whale pump.” Just by eating and pooping, they “pump” life-supporting materials up from the depths to where they’re needed.

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