In early 18th century the outlaw Jón Markússon lived there and used the cave for bathing. Until the 1970s Grjótagjá was a popular bathing site. But during the eruptions from 1975 to 1984 the temperature of the water rose to more than 50 °C, though the temperature is slowly decreasing and has fallen below 50 °C again. The nearby lava cave of Stóragjá is being used as an alternative bathing site.
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- Paijkull, Carl Wilhelm. A Summer in Iceland. Chapman and Hall. pp. 281–2.