The area surrounding Snæfellsjökull glacier is one of Iceland’s most beautiful. Snæfellsjökull National Park is dominated by the glacier, which sits at a height of 1,446 metres (4,744 feet) atop a 700,000-year-old stratovolcano. Diverse bird life, seals dozing on black sand beaches, fantastic natural rock formations along with beautiful caves hidden in lava fields – there’s no question that such a natural treasure should be protected at all costs. Luckily, there seem to be more economic benefits than costs – at least according to Finnish researcher Jukka Siltanen’s work. The natural pearl of Snæfellsjökull has proven to be a gem of sorts for the Icelandic economy.