Quirks & Quarks

Tambora - The Eruption that Changed the World

A massive but little known volcano in 1815 shaped the history of the early 19th century....

A massive but little known volcano in 1815 shaped the history of the early 19th century.

Next year marks the 200th anniversary of a natural disaster that killed an estimated one hundred thousand people and cooled the world's climate for three years. Still, the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia in April of 1815 is a relatively unknown chapter in history.  Its massive dust cloud circled the Earth and brought about crop failure, famine, drought, disease, civil unrest, and the so-called "Year Without Summer" in 1816.  This all contributes to the case for Tambora as the most destructive volcano in recorded history. In his new book Tambora, The Eruption that Changed the World, Professor Gillen D'Arcy Wood, from the Department of English at the University of Illinois, chronicles this event and its far-reaching consequences.

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