For the past few days, photographer Thrainn Kolbeinsson has been camped on the Reykjanes Peninsula documenting the long-awaited eruption of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano. After about 50,000 earthquakes and nearly 6,000 years since its last event, the terrain of Geldingadalur, located about 20 miles from Reykjavík, has been transformed into a scorching scene of molten lava, ash and explosions splattering the sky – the setting is so dramatic and eerie that the internet has even compared it to Lord of the Rings’ Mordor.

Kolbeinsson explains that after a few days of calm, “the Earth suddenly opened up, and the night sky turned red”, and Fagradalsfjall erupted in a mass of burning lava that spread across the charred landscape. “Although it may seem terrifying, it was actually a beautiful experience to see the volcano’s violent sputters quickly turn into smooth streams of glowing lava as a new land was born. Each day the area changed and at this rate the entire valley will fill in 10 to 20 days,” he writes.

More images and footage can be found on Kolbeinsson’s Behance and Instagram.

All images © Thrainn Kolbeinsson