Lakagígar, Iceland
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Panoramic photo by David Rowley EXPERT MAESTRO Taken 15:41, 28/06/2012 - Views loading...


Lakagígar, Iceland

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Laki or Lakagígar (Craters of Laki) is a volcanic fissure in the south of Iceland, not far from the canyon of Eldgjá and the small village Kirkjubæjarklaustur. Lakagígar is the correct name, as Laki mountain itself did not erupt, but

fissures opened up on each side of it. Lakagígar is part of a volcanic system centered on the Grímsvötn volcano and including the Þórðarhyrna volcano. It lies between the glaciers of Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull, in an area of fissures

that run in a south-west to north-east direction.

The system erupted over an eight-month period between 1783 and 1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining Grímsvötn volcano, 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 that 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 the eruption the deadliest in historical times.

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Nearby images in Iceland


A: A waterfall near Kirkjubæjarklaustur (Iceland).

by Jürgen Matern, 32.1 km away

Standing at a small waterfall near Kirkjubæjarklaustur (Iceland). This is none of the large and famou...

A waterfall near Kirkjubæjarklaustur (Iceland).

B: 140129 Kirkjugolf columnar basalt

by Louis-Alexis Fontaine, 32.4 km away

Kirkjugólfið (The Church Floor) is in the field just east of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. It's an approx. 80 ...

140129 Kirkjugolf columnar basalt

C: Fjadrárgljúfur Canyon

by Guy Florack, 33.6 km away

Beautiful little canyon in the south of Iceland shaped by the force of a glacier.

Fjadrárgljúfur Canyon

D: On the way to Bláhnjúkur (Blue Peak, Iceland).

by Jürgen Matern, 40.1 km away

The Bláhnjúkur (which stands for 'Blue Peak' in the icelandic language) is a mountain in the Landmann...

On the way to Bláhnjúkur (Blue Peak, Iceland).

E: 140129 N1 Joovegur Mousse

by Louis-Alexis Fontaine, 40.2 km away

Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica) is a lichen whose erect or ascending foliaceous habit gives it some...

140129 N1 Joovegur Mousse

F: Landmannalaugar view point

by Konstantin Lamin, 40.4 km away

View point of the Landmannalaugar area in Iceland's highlands.This area has a lot of unusual geologic...

Landmannalaugar view point

G: Landmannalaugar from the Blahnjukur

by jeremie francois, 40.6 km away

This is one of the most stunning place I ever saw. You go there by 4WD or bus, but not with the avera...

Landmannalaugar from the Blahnjukur

H: Moss vegetation on the Eldhraun lava field

by Karel Gillissen, 43.5 km away

Moss vegetation at the Eldhraun Lava field, southern Iceland.This Lava field belongs to the Laki vulc...

Moss vegetation on the Eldhraun lava field

I: Road Number 1 near Vatnajokul

by Marek Koszorek, 46.2 km away

Road Number 1 near Vatnajokul

J: Sunrise at Landmannalauger

by Tom Mills, 46.4 km away

Sunrise at Landmannalauger

This panorama was taken in Iceland, Europe

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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.

The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.

Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".

Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.

Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.

In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. 

Text by Steve Smith.

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