Directions to Eldhraun lava fields

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Directions to Eldhraun lava fields

Directions to Eldhraun lava fields

The lava fields of Eldhraun are the result of what is probably the largest volcanic eruption in history: the eruption of the Lakagígar volcano, which lasted from 8 June 1783 to 7 February 1784.

Photo by: Andrew Bowden

It is known as Skaftareldar, which means “river fires of Skafta”. It was truly an apocalyptic event with far-reaching consequences. Iceland had to deal with numerous diseases, 50% of the cattle died, there were crop failures, and there was a general famine. 25% of the population died.

Other countries in Europe were also affected by the eruption. Because of the fallout of volcanic ash, Britain experienced sandstorms during this period, and the sunlight was blocked. In other countries, harvests failed and famine reigned. It’s possible the eruption also led to drought in faraway countries like India. Some historians even go as far as to say that the eruption is part of the foundation of the French Revolution in 1789.

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