Is The Most Northern Part Of Iceland Still There?

17. 08. 2020
752 215 zhlédnutí

Kolbeinsey is the most northern part of Iceland, a tiny island that, according to Wikipedia, is due to disappear due to wave erosion "probably around the year 2020". Which raised an obvious question: is it still there?
This video was inspired by some tweets from author Sam Hughes. You can follow him on Twitter here: and read his work here:
The pilots and team at Norlandair, who sorted out a charter at very short notice:
The folks at the Hafdals Hotel, who were okay with me filming from their spectacular view!
Grimsey photos, in order, all licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license,
Michael Pollak, "basaltsäulen":
John Lester, "IMG_0546":
Brian Gratwicke, "Puffin on Grimsey":
Michael Pollak, "marker":
All photos of Kolbeinsey in 1989 and 2001 are copyright Guðmundur St. Valdimarsson, and used with permission and thanks.
Photos from 2013 are copyright of Landhelgisgæsla Íslands (the Icelandic Coast Guard), and used with permission and thanks.
And the "so I chartered a plane" gag is very heavily inspired by Matt Parker's video about stroboscopic helicopter blades:
Sæmundsson and Hjartarson (1989), "Geology and Erosion of Kolbeinsey North of Iceland",
Jacobsen, T., & Stone, I. (2006). Kolbeinsey: Iceland's Arctic island. Polar Record, 42(2), 167-169. doi: 10.1017/s0032247406215298
From Landhelgisgæsla Íslands (the Icelandic Coast Guard):
The Cod Wars, from the UK National Archives:
And of course, the Wikipedia article for Kolbeinsey, which will presumably be updated shortly after this video goes live.
I'm at
on Twitter at
on Facebook at
and on Instagram as tomscottgo

  • There are a lot of people to thank for helping this video come together; pull down the description to see them all!

    Tom ScottTom ScottPřed 2 měsíci
    • @jhaiii wat

      Metallic LusterMetallic LusterPřed měsícem
    • Why didn't you let me know you were in Akureyri? I would've literally run to you to meet you :( (I live in Akureyri by the way) And I ADORE your videos! Next time you're in Iceland make sure to let me know;)

    • @Michael Carucci wot

      Metallic LusterMetallic LusterPřed měsícem
    • 👍

      Moh Fatih Fajral UmamMoh Fatih Fajral UmamPřed měsícem
    • Imagine if a high official of Iceland comments on this video

      AmalAmalPřed 2 měsíci
  • It's amazing they don't do more to shore it up. Just keep dumping more concrete on top to maintain the territory.

    Ryan RobertsRyan RobertsPřed dnem
  • I really enjoyed this.

    Umbilicus RupestrisUmbilicus RupestrisPřed 3 dny
  • Yes

    10 second Mapping10 second MappingPřed 3 dny
  • Maxar technologies - Am I a joke to you?

    Ayush Kumar PandaAyush Kumar PandaPřed 7 dny
  • Beechcraft king air

    Sebastian ContrerasSebastian ContrerasPřed 7 dny
  • “Is the northern part of Iceland still there?” Well yes, because even if the rock did disappear, it would no longer be the northern part of Iceland, and some other place will be the next northern part, which will then be the most northern part of Iceland. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

    Neeron BhattaNeeron BhattaPřed 10 dny
  • Lmfao how you said Kolbeinsey, Akureyri and Grímsey

    Random DudeRandom DudePřed 10 dny
  • Hey your island isnt there anymore :D I wonder how the pilot reacted to that bit :P

    karremaniakarremaniaPřed 11 dny
  • 1:30 2020, why does that make so much sense now?

    Aniruddha ChatterjeeAniruddha ChatterjeePřed 11 dny
  • Soo.... how much did that plane flight cost?

    DeltahedronDeltahedronPřed 12 dny
  • Didn't Gordon Ramsey go to that island

    turd birdingtonturd birdingtonPřed 12 dny
  • Hearing Tom Scott mention the SCPwiki has got to be the most unexpected result of this video.

    decrexendodecrexendoPřed 12 dny
  • I am looking at every speck of dust on my screen and thinking it is that rock

    donkey babadonkey babaPřed 13 dny
  • Great idea and very good execution. I counted three little islands

    Roodborst KalfRoodborst KalfPřed 13 dny
  • Funny, interesting and educational

    OneGreenSeaTurtleOneGreenSeaTurtlePřed 13 dny
  • Uncharted 5: Scott's Rock

    hunter Vortexhunter VortexPřed 14 dny
  • Final recording of british spy Tom Scott before being shot down by icelandic fighter jets.

    MonkeyShinesuMonkeyShinesuPřed 16 dny
  • You are literally like half a kilometer from my summer house in the beginning of the video

    Erlingur ÓlafssonErlingur ÓlafssonPřed 16 dny
  • 2:59 why did you chose the exterior video edit for that line about iceland winning? you realize you looked too happy? don't worry you sounded happy enough that iceland won, just as you'll be happy when EU still gets to take all your island's waters as well is there anything more despicable than a traitor that isn't even paid, and just gets a perverse masochistic glee from selling out their own nation?

    Dice BlueDice BluePřed 16 dny
  • NOW KOLBINSEY IS DIDAPPEARING! what a bad year 2020 is

    Enzo MunroEnzo MunroPřed 16 dny
  • Tom looks both old and young at the same time

    Unexpected SituationUnexpected SituationPřed 17 dny
  • Well i am from here whats up my guys!

    Gunnar almightyGunnar almightyPřed 18 dny
  • So they now have a territorial claim to not one but two tiny islands?

    Tim RoweTim RowePřed 18 dny
    • This is outrageous, now there are 2 of them

      Mr. HatMr. HatPřed 8 dny
  • Me: i want a sandwich...but i gotta get up and make it...nah, not worth it This guy: i wanna get there...but i need to charter a plane...well, I'll charter a plane i guess

    HellblazerHellblazerPřed 19 dny
  • 3:51 “We need a shot of me pretending to look out the front windshield of the plane even though I’m sitting in the back seat”

    Joshua SalemJoshua SalemPřed 20 dny
  • The British CANNOT stop fighting people over islands.

    Julieta AvilésJulieta AvilésPřed 21 dnem
  • With the way 2020 is shaping up, I wouldn’t have been surprised to find that aliens have been secretly inhabiting the rock...

    Good Golly, Miss LollyGood Golly, Miss LollyPřed 21 dnem
  • Nice job. Most people would just assume it was gone. But you do the work and check it out.

    Ronald ArchibaldRonald ArchibaldPřed 22 dny
  • "'d have to charter a plane. So I chartered a plane..." I'm trying to save up enough money to say, "'d have to buy a yacht. So I bought a yacht..." ...because then I might be able to get to Kolbeinsey without having to charter a plane...

    Clinton BlackClinton BlackPřed 22 dny
  • So I chartered a plane makes me think of So i booked a flight to japan

    spacklespacklePřed 24 dny
  • How?

    Renita CarvalhoRenita CarvalhoPřed 24 dny
  • Even if the island went under water, isn't it still a part of Iceland and possibly still therefore continue to be claimed by Iceland if need-be?

    the rabbit gamerthe rabbit gamerPřed 24 dny
  • Couldn't you check it regularly with a satellite?

    William BrennanWilliam BrennanPřed 25 dny
  • This guy's a legend

    Alin :]Alin :]Před 25 dny
  • As a MURICAN that rock looks like it needs some freedom

    SpectatertotsSpectatertotsPřed 25 dny
  • Imagine you being lost on sea and apparently found yourself on that island, and tom just flew there to check the rocks instead finds a survivor.

    MalharMalharPřed 25 dny
  • Kolbeinsey Sinks: 2020

    ashket0605ashket0605Před 26 dny
  • I don't know.

    kayra cankayra canPřed 26 dny
  • This video is underrated

    Cody GoodmanCody GoodmanPřed 26 dny
  • Icelandic Graham Island

    MeesguyMeesguyPřed 27 dny
  • Greatest thriller of 2020 by far.

    QworstQworstPřed 27 dny
  • Don't worry, if it gets much worse I"m sure China would be happy to come fix it for you.

    youtertyoutertPřed 27 dny
  • I've been watching too many Coast Guard Alaska videos because I want to yell at Tom for not wearing a survival suit in case that plane has to ditch in the water.

    youtertyoutertPřed 27 dny
  • More people have seen this video than live in Iceland...

    James HarrisJames HarrisPřed 28 dny
  • I got another task for you Tom. How much explosives would it take to remove it?

    John SmithJohn SmithPřed 29 dny
  • I say we go and blow it up and get our cod back!

    John SmithJohn SmithPřed 29 dny
  • I'm sure some satellite could've checked for it but this is way more entertaining

    MiepMiepPřed 29 dny
  • How much did it cost to charter the plane? Might be a good spot to set up a solar/satellite webcam on a pole.

  • Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, and no bung whatsoever from the Icelandic Government. Your secret is safe with me.

    Wg Cdr LudditeWg Cdr LudditePřed měsícem
  • I love Iceland and Icelandic. So happy I can 'understand' place names (since they are often compound names). Especially I love being able to pronounce them right!! Greetings from Germany, Mr. Scott :) The words ey means 'island', and the s before it is often the genitive-s, but beware: Icelandic has many words that form genitive not with genitive-s but with -ar, -jar or in plural where it's ALWAYS -a(nna) (nna is added as an article) ey 'island eyjar 'islands' (genitive) eyja 'islands' (genitive plural) eyjarinnar 'of the island' eyjanna 'of the islands' If u wanna say, the beauty of the island it would be: fegurðin eyjarinnar Icelandic is fun :D

    GamingSepaGamingSepaPřed měsícem
  • I feel like a case could be made for saving it just because of the birds using it.

    Aussie ChundaAussie ChundaPřed měsícem
  • Hearing SCP in a Tom Scott video confused my brain lmao

    Thomas farquharThomas farquharPřed měsícem
  • From what I've seen, Greenland and Iceland should probably exchange names.

    Ελλη ΦεαρινουΕλλη ΦεαρινουPřed měsícem
  • Rock is still there, so no fishes for UK. Come back next year to check.

    With PikachuWith PikachuPřed měsícem
  • Iconic!Great Video!!

    Tomato SauceTomato SaucePřed měsícem
  • top 10 saddest anime deaths

    999Goat999GoatPřed měsícem
  • Im Icelandic and i never knew this! Thank you

    Petra María RögnvaldsdóttirPetra María RögnvaldsdóttirPřed měsícem
  • Nobody: Tom Scott: Hiring a whole plane to see if look at a small rock

    Charming nowhere to hideCharming nowhere to hidePřed měsícem
  • Walt, you cannot site Wikipedia as a genuine source

    Vedraj r.mVedraj r.mPřed měsícem
    • This post made by my English teacher

      Thomas farquharThomas farquharPřed měsícem
  • Sometimes I want see Tom play villain role in a film with his British accent.

    Mr. Apriza YutamaMr. Apriza YutamaPřed měsícem

      Charming nowhere to hideCharming nowhere to hidePřed měsícem
  • Hello that diamond did u order the u have apps for that

    Cookie LolzCookie LolzPřed měsícem
  • 1:46 Gonna be a meme soon.

    Dark OtakuDark OtakuPřed měsícem
    • Yes

      0 00 0Před měsícem
  • "... you'd have to charter a plane" - cut - "So I've chartered a plane!" You made me laugh with that more than I'd like to admit

    hen kohen koPřed měsícem
  • This shot of the island became the top image on Wikipedia 😏

    James WheelerJames WheelerPřed měsícem
  • The so called cod wars were just some British fishermen fishing disputed Icelandic waters. Icelandic and British boats clashed the Royal Navy got involved and rammed a few Icelandic vessels. Iceland said that they would expel the US Air force if the British didn't stop. So under pressure from the US and Scandinavian countries the UK withdrew. However the British did get 18 months additional fishing rights as part of the deal, so in a sense they won this extra fishing time in waters that they weren't suppose to be in anyway!

    Super DuperSuper DuperPřed měsícem
    • But Iceland suffered fewer casualties

      0 00 0Před měsícem
    • Is Ireland even real?

      hen kohen koPřed měsícem
  • 1:30 This is proof that 2020 is a horible year

    Poul JensenPoul JensenPřed měsícem
  • great - your photo (one of) is in the top 4 on google image search.

    kadmowkadmowPřed měsícem
  • Tom: goes to Iceland, hops on a small plane, heading to another island My brain: (Jurassic park music)

    VeøsityVeøsityPřed měsícem
  • yo this is insane im watching this at 666,666 veiws

    AsdfswerAsdfswerPřed měsícem
  • Tom: You have to charter a plane Me: Aw :( Tom: SO I CHARTED A PLANE! Me: 👁👄👁

    colarexcolarexPřed měsícem
  • "That's barely anything"-tell that to China

    Akshay KumarAkshay KumarPřed měsícem
  • Nobody: Tom Scott: Hiring a whole plane to see if look at a small rock

    Emily AnEmily AnPřed měsícem
  • Thank you Tom, I’m from Iceland and every day I wonder if this rock is still there or not

    Einar ÖrnEinar ÖrnPřed měsícem
  • Tom: checks if their island is still there without them even asking Iceland: Thank you, have a great day.

    Dat BoiDat BoiPřed měsícem
    • I like how the plane dressed to match Tom

      Emily AnEmily AnPřed měsícem

    Springy SlinkySpringy SlinkyPřed měsícem
  • very cool

    Alex HeissAlex HeissPřed měsícem
  • It will matter, because once the Arctic Circle leaves Grimsey, if Kolbeinsey isn't there, Iceland will no longer be an Arctic nation. Which means that it will lose its seat on the United Nations Arctic Council.

    Michael ImbesiMichael ImbesiPřed měsícem
  • "So I chartered a plane" is the Tom Scott version of Matt Parker's "So I hired a helicopter"

    Flash-FlireFlash-FlirePřed měsícem
  • Are puffins penguins?

    turtle_foodturtle_foodPřed měsícem
  • Is Ireland even real?

    turtle_foodturtle_foodPřed měsícem
  • out!

    JoannaJoannaPřed měsícem
  • Ъ

    Глад Валакас ФЭКГлад Валакас ФЭКPřed měsícem
  • oh boy they shuld put a bouy there so ships don't crash into it

    Vega 128Vega 128Před měsícem
    • we don't have an antimemetics division

      JoannaJoannaPřed měsícem
  • 4:06 anyone else just wanna stand on it?

    DownDownPřed měsícem
  • Stone and concrete is not the same thing

    Yanik KunitsinYanik KunitsinPřed měsícem
  • I'm here because of MattColbo

    Sergio MartinezSergio MartinezPřed měsícem
  • I’ve been to iceland!

    LeftWing LewisLeftWing LewisPřed měsícem
  • nooooooo little island 🥺tiny baby island nooo... don't go :(

    Vapor GoatVapor GoatPřed měsícem
    • @Cassie that's so sad D: where will the little birds go....

      Vapor GoatVapor GoatPřed měsícem
    • Poor birds they lost their island :(

      CassieCassiePřed měsícem
  • I like how the plane dressed to match Tom

    exannucexannucPřed měsícem
    • I thought you might instead try to get a look at it using a daily satellite imaging company. Nope.

      CassieCassiePřed měsícem
  • Nobody: Tom Scott: Hiring a whole plane to see if look at a small rock

    mikin liroumikin lirouPřed měsícem
  • Have you ever thought of covering the islands of St. Kilda? It is a fascinating bit of history where people actually used feathers as a form of currency!

    NateNatePřed měsícem
  • Haaaaa Haaaaa "You'd have to charter a plane".. ! .... "So I chartered a Plane" ! Brilliant !

    kletops46kletops46Před měsícem
    • TL;DR: It's still there. Two little islands.

      mikin liroumikin lirouPřed měsícem
  • Just to plan for the future, I'll say it now. *R.I.P KOLBEINSEY 1616-2021*

    IpercrayyIpercrayyPřed měsícem
  • Epic video Scott. Love that youre fascinated with stuff like that. I wish I could live a life seeing all the things that fascinate me, but because of you Im able to learn about them so thanks

    Justin AbnerJustin AbnerPřed měsícem
  • you're the goat

    AiM__FreakZAiM__FreakZPřed měsícem
  • Heyrðu takk fyrir þetta maður, nú vitum við enn að þessi eyja sé enþá til, allt út af þér! Ísland þakkar þér!

    sketchysketchyPřed měsícem
  • Very Davie504 vibes in this one.

    AndyilmattoAndyilmattoPřed měsícem
  • we don't have an antimemetics division

    jimmyjimmyPřed měsícem
  • International babysitter.

    S o u pS o u pPřed měsícem