As if you needed further proof of the otherworldly beauty of Iceland's natural wonders, along comes yet another stunning reminder.

Photographer Sarah Bethea was visiting a glacial ice cave in the Nordic nation, nicknamed the "Land of Fire and Ice," when the sun's setting rays lined up to pierce a portion of her frozen surroundings. For the next few minutes, a solid block of ancient ice glowed with amber intensity seemingly more magical than natural.

"Although it was mid-day, it was December and the days were short and the sun stayed low on the horizon," Bethea told My Modern Met. "For five minutes or so, the sun lined up just right with the cave entrance, and the ice was lit up to look like amber."

Perfect timing allowed Sarah Bethea to catch the sun's setting rays striking the solid ice.
Perfect timing allowed Sarah Bethea to catch the sun's setting rays striking the solid ice. (Photo: Sarah Bethea)

As Bethea's collection of photographs from her December 2017 trip shows, the low angle of the sun creates all manner of dazzling glints and glows as it bounces over and through Iceland's frozen landscape. It's a beautiful perspective on nature that she hopes encourages others to explore for themselves.

"I think it’s wonderful if people see my photos and are inspired to get outside and see these places for themselves," she added to MyModernMet, "but first and foremost I hope to connect people with nature, and show them that these places are worth saving."

In addition to Bethea's webpage, you can find more of her work on Instagram.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.