Dark History Of World’s Deadliest Volcano Is A Warning To Us All

Jialiang Gao

A volcanic site in Indonesia, which has since become a popular tourist spot for intrepid holiday goers, has had it’s very dark, but interesting, history revealed.

Mount Tambora, which sits at the highest peak of the Sanggar peninsula on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia, is responsible for causing both the highest death toll ever by a volcano and a major disruption in world’s climate.

It’s eruption occured in 1815, instantly killing an estimated 10,000 people. In the aftermath of Tambora’s blast a deadly four metre high tsunami caused wide-spread famine and starvation, bringing the death toll to a staggering 100,000 – with some estimates as high as 120,000.

Paul Hessels

Although the exact extent of the figures is disputed, Tambora has gone on record (via The Guinness Book Of World Records) as the deadliest volcano in history.

According to the Mail Online:

The eruptions were heard 2,000 kilometres (1,242 miles) away.

The entire region was plunged into a dark abyss when molten rock shot more than 40 km into the sky creating ‘a thick veil of ash’ which covered over a million square kilometres.


However Indonesia and Asia weren’t the only areas damaged by the impact of Mount Tambora’s ferocity, the rest of the world felt the effects too.

Following the eruption the entire globe was plunged into a ‘year without a summer’ where much of the northern hemisphere endured a ‘a bleak, year-round winter’.

According to the Mail Online:

Reports of clothes freezing on washing lines in the middle of ‘summer’ were the least of the troubles.

The biting temperatures resulted in poor crop growth and therefore food shortages in many countries and in some cases, such as Ireland, out-and-out famine.

Mount Tambora’s eruption was also inadvertently responsible for that era’s classic literature, which all seemed to be gloomy and terrifying.

A collective of writers who were staying in a villa on Lake Geneva (up in the Swiss Alps) were forced to stay indoors thanks to the cold, rainy days.


To pass the time, and to make sure they didn’t lose their minds to cabin fever, they would challenge each other to write the most frightening stories.

Among those writers was Mary Shelley who produced her gothic, magnum opus – Frankenstein.

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Today the site of the volcano is known as Mount Tambora National Park, where you have the opportunity to hike up to the rim of the stratovolcano (made up of layers of ash and lava) and setup camp.

You can even descend into the volcano’s deep crater – a clear reminder of the destructive power possessed within…