Lakagígar (What To See - Highlands)

Lakagígar (What To See - Highlands)
Lakagígar Craters, named for Mt. Laki, are located in an eruption fissure that is 25 kilometres long. The long row of craters were formed in an eruption lasting five months and issuing the greatest volume of lava and volcanic material ever in a single eruption on the planet in the last one thousand years. It took place in 1783 and is also referred to as Skaftáreldar and is known to be amongst the most catastrophic volcanic events in human history. It had terrible consequences for people, not only in Iceland but also in Europe, America, and Asia. A black cloud of volcanic ash was carried far and blocked sunlight, even in countries far away from Iceland. Toxic gases also threatened life of both humans and animals and thousands of people as well as livestock perished. The following years were very cold as a result of this in most of the northern hemisphere and it caused extensive crop failures and devastation far from Iceland. It is even believed that crop failures due to this eruption triggered the French revolution a few years later. The lava flow from the Laki eruption, covers almost 600 sq kilometers of what before the eruption was mostly fertile farmlands. From the main highway, it is about 90 kilometres drive to Laki on a rugged mountain road, only passable by 4x4 from late June until early October. The rewarding scenery at the end of the road makes the bumpy ride worthwhile. There are few wild and rugged natural wonders that equal the beauty of the Laki area. The enormous lava field is now covered with green moss, but the volcanic debris and colorful craters provide the Laki area with a grim, natural beauty. The whole area is a paradise for those interested in geology and geology tours are very popular, especially amongst school groups.

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