In the south, there was Muspell, the land of fire. There anxiously waits Black Surt, where at the end he will engulf the world in flames.
North was Niflheim, the land of ice, where the spring Hvergelmir, the source of the eleven rivers named Elivagar: they are cool Svol and Gunnthra the defiant, Fjorm and bubbling Fimbultul, fearsome Slid and storming Grid, Sylg, Ylg, and Vid and Leipt which streaks like lightning, and freezing Gjoll.
In between lies an empty space called Ginunngagap. Where Niflheim and Muspell touched. The warm breath drifting from Muspell met the rime from Niflheimand formed ice drops which formed a giant by the name of Ymir- the first and evil frost giant. While he slept, he sweat. Thus a man and woman formed from the sweat, and one of his legs fathered a son on the other leg. Ymir was the forefather of the frost giants, they called him Aurgelmir.
As more ice in Ginnungagap melted, it formed a cow in which made four rivers of milk. The cow was named Audumia, she fed off the ice itself, which resulted in the man's hair.
The three sons of Bor had no liking to Ymir, so they killed him. Blood and gore like rivers, all but Bergelmir and his wife drown.
Odin, Vili, and Be took Ymir's body and shaped the earth out of it. The water was his blood, the sky from his skull, glowing embers and sparks from Muspell as sun, moon, and stars.
Odin, Vili and He found two trees with the roots ripped out of the ground and made them the first man and woman on the earth. The ash tree became the male known as Ask, the female an elm tree and she was known as Embla. Odin gave them life, Vili gave them sharp wits and feeling hearts and Be gave them sight and hearing. They lived in Midgard.
Source(s): The Norse Myths. (Crossley-Holland).