Justin Bieber has a lot on his plate, and it seems he has one more thing to worry about.
According to reports, the “Baby” singer is blamed for ruining a once-pristine canyon in Iceland. You might have trouble pronouncing the name, but the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon was the location for Bieber’s “I’ll Show You” music video. Before the video was shot, this particular canyon was situated in an obscure location, with tourists hardly aware of it. But after Bieber made the video, the canyon witnessed such an influx of tourists that it became a major problem.
Icelandic official Daníel Freyr Jónsson pins the entire blame on Bieber’s shoulders. According to Lonely Planet, he told an Icelandic news channel that there was no doubt in his mind that the canyon is getting ruined because of a steep rise in foot traffic, which can be traced back to the music video Bieber shot at the scenic location.
“This canyon was somewhat unknown,” he said, according to Cosmopolitan. “But I think Icelanders have known about it a lot longer. The great increase in foot traffic began after Bieber came. There has been an increase of 50 percent to 80 percent between 2016, 2017 and 2018.”
Lonely Planet does note that Jónsson is right in his assessment, pointing out that the increased number of tourists have “wreaked havoc on its fragile vegetation.”
Bieber’s “I’ll Show You” is one of his most popular videos, having racked up a total of 440 million views on YouTube. Since its release, the Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon has seen a massive influx in the number of tourists, with 282,000 people visiting the beautiful spot just last year, according to The Telegraph.
The Environment Agency of Iceland initially planned to close down the scenic canyon for a period of two weeks, but reassessment by officials led them to believe that the vegetation can only recuperate if tourists don’t visit it for a long time. As of now, the canyon is shut down till the end of May.
Although the majority of officials do blame Justin Bieber for shooting the video at the canyon — and consequently making it famous — not everyone believes that the singer is to blame for the degradation. Inga Hlin Palsdottir, director of tourism agency Visit Iceland, said Iceland’s extreme weather conditions have to take some of the blame.
“In Iceland, you have extreme weather conditions — for example, springtime can be very difficult for nature when the snow is melting and everything gets more wet and muddy,” Palsdottir said. “It’s just a natural wonder that wasn’t meant to be that popular.”