The impressive Eldhraun lava field is the biggest lava flow in the world. It occurred during the Laki eruption in the late 1700s. The enormous site which is 565 square kilometers (218 sq mi) is where the Apollo 11 crew came to train for their impending moonwalk.
This eruption lasted from 1783 to 1784 and is known as the Skaftareldar, and is considered as the most poisonous eruption during historical times. It is fair to say that this was a cataclysmic event, not only for Iceland but also Europe. In Iceland it lead to diease, crop failure and famine, the consequences were enormous. Between 53% and 82% of the domestic animals and 20% of the human population perished as a result.
The cause of the French Revolution?
The eruption was felt Europe as well. In Great Britain, that summer was known as the Sand-Summer due to the fallout of ash. Many historians have also speculated that the haze created by the eruption blocked sunlight in Europe and may have contributed to the French Revolution.
Respect the nature
The Eldhraun lava field and the craters are covered with Woolly Fringe Moss and the landscape looks alien and unearthly. If you plan on travelling there, please leave the moss alone, for it takes decades to heal.
Where can I see Eldhraun?
Eldhraun is the mossy lava field you see when driving the south coast of Iceland, before you reach the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur.
GPS: 63.676944 N, -18.140833 W