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In Iceland, raw beauty hides the most horrific devastation

Kilometers after kilometers of volcanic craters in almost a direct line. PIC outsidecontext2008

Kilometers after kilometers of volcanic craters in almost a direct line. PIC outsidecontext2008

For some, this place is what Iceland is all about. Raw and rugged beauty for miles around and no matter how hard you imagine, there is simply no way this amazing spot could have been blown to smithereens and back for months on end over two hundred years ago.

The place is Lakagigar in the South of Iceland roughly 30 minutes inland from the Ring Road. Although gaining in popularity amazing numbers of people have no idea that what happened here in 1783 makes the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 seem like a children´s fairy tale.

what happened here in 1783 makes the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 seem like a children´s fairy tale

It was events here that directly caused the death of a whopping 20 percent of the population of Iceland as well as creating massive pollution and difficulties for a large number of Europeans on the mainland for years after the fact. And the fact is that in June 1783 a gigantic 25 kilometer long rift opened up here and spewed forth the largest amount of lava ever recorded on earth. And it did so for eight straight months.

The volcanic activity was so massive that a recent study has shown that if the same rift would pop open again today with the same force it is likely to spell the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Europeans and certainly ground all flights for sex months at the very least. In other words, this place coming alive again will decide the fate of millions.

But arriving here does not give you one clue. Mother nature has closed the rift and hidden most evidence with deep-green moss and shrubs, stunning lava formations and even made some splendid little ponds here and there.

Team Total Iceland highly recommends a visit, preferably over high summer when the green plants here make most visually arresting contrast to the kilometers of craters that line this area. At the same time we implore you to tread carefully since this place is still only recovering.

Tours available

We offer a few guided trips to the area. Totaliceland@totaliceland.com for details.
PIC Wolf-Ulf Wulfrolf

PIC Wolf-Ulf Wulfrolf

PIC by Sergio Marchon

PIC by Sergio Marchon


Sjá Lakagigar volcanic craters in Iceland á stærra korti

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