The eruption that changed Iceland foreverBreaking News
On 8 June, 1783, the young country of Iceland - inhabited for less than 1,000 years - had a population of 50,000. In the coming years, as a result of what began that Sunday morning at 9am, 10,000 of those people would die.
The Laki eruption is the worst catastrophe in the country's relatively short history. Laki is a volcanic system in the same south-eastern part of Iceland where this week's eruption took place. But that's where the similarities end.
Back in 1783 it was ripped open with such force that a huge fissure produced scores of boiling craters. Over the next eight months the Lakagigar - literally "craters of Laki" - spewed 600 square kilometres of boiling lava into the surrounding countryside and belched more toxic gases than any eruption in the last 150 years. The effects were felt all over the northern hemisphere.
It is the second greatest eruption of the last 1,000 years, behind only the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, says Stephen Self, visiting professor of volcanology at the Open University.
comments powered by Disqus
- The National Security Agency's own history of tracking of U.S. Citizens is flawed
- Before Trump vs. the NFL, there was Jackie Robinson vs. JFK
- Saudi Textbook Withdrawn Over Image of Yoda With King
- Israelis are celebrating the Kurds’ bid for independence
- Wall Street Journal study finds that rural youths who enlisted after 9/11 shouldered the greatest burden for the nation’s defense
- Jelani Cobb unloads on Trump’s double standard of patriotism in the New Yorker
- Lonnie Bunch is astonished the African-American History Museum has become a pilgrimage site so fast
- Nancy Isenberg says what Americans think is exceptional about them is that they erased class distinctions
- Niall Ferguson’s new book is a warning about the pernicious threat of networks
- Yale history department now emphasizing global history in undergraduate courses