The Laki Eruption of 1783: Killed 6 Million people and changed Europe forever

We have always been amazed that this event is not more widely talked about as it happened only 230 years ago.

Why would an cataclysmic event on this scale in such recent times be swept under the carpet, can you imagine the effect on today’s society?

THE MYSTERIOUS KILLER HAZE THAT ENGULFED EUROPE AND NORTH AMERICA

An event that caused immediate catastrophe to Iceland and climatic events that shook Europe and other parts of the world in such dramatic fashion, should surely be at the front of our history books.

And the possibility of a similar event occurring is very high.

The Laki system erupted over an eight-month period between 1783 and 1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining volcano Grímsvötn, pouring out an estimated 14 km3 (3.4 cu mi) of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid and sulfur dioxide compounds that killed over 50% of Iceland’s livestock population, leading to a famine which then killed approximately 25% of the island’s human population.

The Laki eruption and its aftermath caused a drop in global temperatures, as sulfur dioxide was spewed into the Northern Hemisphere. This caused crop failures in Europe and may have caused droughts in India. The eruption has been estimated to have killed over six million people globally making it the deadliest in historical times.

Benjamin Franklin himself was witness to this amazing event and wrote about the mysterious killer haze that engulfed Europe and North America.

Whenever we hear of governments in Europe preparing for disasters, we always think of Laki, and recent warnings released by the German government and other European nations for citizens to stockpile food, water and supplies, got us thinking of this cataclysmic event yet again.