Thridarangar lighthouse: world’s most distant ocean lighthouse

The phrase “escape to the edge of the world” is quite possible to bring to life. For those who want to cut themselves off from the world and really find themselves at the ends of the Earth, the Thridarangar lighthouse in South Iceland is perfect.

In the Thridarangar lighthouse, you are sure no one will not find you and will not disturb you! However, such a trip will require remarkable courage because the lighthouse is located on the top of high cliffs, towering above the ocean waves.

Distant and very dangerous

Thridarangar (which translates as three stone pillars) is one of the most remote lighthouses in the world. It is built on one of three steep cliffs, about 40 meters high.

It is scary to imagine how the workers climbed this rock
It is scary to imagine how the workers climbed this rock. ©Arni Sаberg

Considering the whirlwinds and crashing waves that are usual to the area, it is not an easy or safe task to climb the cliff by swimming up to it. That is why a service helicopter is used today for this purpose. The helipad is located at the top of the jagged rock.

Staying here for even a couple of hours is extremely difficult. Just one wrong step or a strong gust of wind, and you fall into the icy waves and crash on the rock.

Built at the risk of death

The Thridarangar lighthouse was built in 1939, about six miles off the mainland of Iceland, in the North Atlantic Sea, on the ocean’s edge. No helicopters are known to have been used in the construction of this facility, and one can only marvel at how the builders managed to do so. Before there was a helipad on the cliff, the builders and coast guards had to reach the cliff by the sea.

In 1938, brave workers had to climb a cliff to start construction. Many years ago, the director of the project, Arnie G. Horarinsson, told one of the local newspapers how this happened.

Workers  maintaining Thridarangar lighthouse
Workers maintaining Thridarangar lighthouse. ©ngvarhreinsson

“The first thing we had to do was make a road to the cliff,” he recalled. “We gathered experienced climbers, all of them were from the Westman Islands. Then we brought drills, hammers, chains and clamps for fastening the chains.”

“As soon as the workers reached the top, it became clear that there was no way to grab onto the rock. Then one of the workers knelt down, the second stood on his back, thanks to which the third managed to climb to the top and reach the rock ledge. I can’t even tell you how I felt watching this incredibly dangerous procedure.”

The mountaineers laid the foundation for the Thridarangar lighthouse by hand.

A lighthouse in the midst of raging waves
A lighthouse in the midst of raging waves

Previously, people worked at the lighthouse, but now it is automated. And if it is necessary to carry out repair work at the lighthouse, a helicopter delivers a group of technicians to the site in the evening and picks it up the following day.

Thridarangar lighthouse inspires writers and celebrities

Photos of the Thridarangar lighthouse went viral on the Internet, and even celebrities were interested in it. For example, a few years ago, photographs of the lighthouse were posted on his page by the popular musician and actor Justin Bieber.

Internet users have jokingly called this beacon a haven for introverts. He also has his own Facebook fan page. By the way, this lighthouse lost in the Atlantic inspired the Icelandic writer Irsa Sigurdardottir to create the crime novel “Why did you lie?”, Which became a bestseller.

The plot is a bit like “Ten Little Indians” by Agatha Christie. Four strangers try to find shelter on a windswept cliff in the middle of a raging sea. They all have one thing in common: they all lied. And someone intends to punish them at all costs…

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