Eldhraun: lit. Fire lava.
In June of 1783, the tiny village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur in south Iceland lay in the crosshairs of one of the most cataclysmic events in recorded history. A volcanic fissure opened up at Laki and the emetic fury produced a prodigious belching of lava and gas on a scale seldom observed. The consequences were felt on a globally, from China and Japan to India to North Africa to Europe to North America.
George Washington had something to say about it, as did Benjamin Franklin, then in Paris, and Gilbert White. See this for their accounts.
Iceland was devastated and around 25% of the population perished. In one poignant episode, cornered by the advancing lava, the terrified villagers, resigned to their fate, gathered in the local church where the pastor Jón Steingrímsson delivered his famous Eldmessa (“Fire Sermon”). The lava miraculously stopped short of the village.
Today, the vast lava field lies covered in moss that glows green after rain showers. Ring Road, the one and only route that loops around Iceland, cleaves through Eldhraun. Future posts will feature the Laki crater row.
The last photograph reminds me of candle wax, after the molten wax has flowed, cooled and solidified. Amazing!
I very much enjoyed the back story to this marvelous set of photos. Thanks!
Thank you, Bob.
MM Naik and Prashanth – thanks.
I never knew the lava fields were so large.. great pictures, as always Rajan!
Incredible! Great photography. Thank you!
Simply unreal, Rajan. That green looks like it’s been coloured using Microsoft Paint, and that road looks like nobody has ever travelled on it.
This was taken last week and there are very few traveling currently.