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The coldest summer in history

203 years ago, in the spring of 1815, the Indonesian volcano in Tambor decided that it was enough to doze off, it’s time to leave an ashen mark in history.

About such eruptions say that either “it was incredible power and crushing force”, or just “oh-ho!”. Both definitions will work. After all, Tambor managed to completely destroy the culture of the inhabitants of the island of Sumbava, and together with the culture and inhabitants – the Tambor language.

In total, the volcano destroyed 71 thousand people, and the sound of its explosion was heard already at a distance of 2000 kilometers. The consequences also did not wait: Tambora provoked volcanic eruptions around the world. Volcanic ash slowly but surely filled the sky above the earth’s surface.


Tambora today pretends to be a decent dormant volcano.

As a result, the summer of 1816 in Europe and North America was not just lousy, but catastrophically cold and dark: the temperature on the planet dropped by an average of 2.5 degrees.

Actually, that summer was the coldest since the beginning of weather recording and remains so to this day. Europeans were aware of what an important event is present: while still alive, 1816 was nicknamed the “year without summer”, and in America it was called “one thousand eight hundred frozen.”

The crop failure led to a 10-fold increase in grain prices, and those who, after the Napoleonic wars, still doubted whether to emigrate to America, they did not doubt. So our complaints about the current dank summer – this is so, idle social talk.

But it happened that cold summer and something useful for humanity. 18-year-old Mary Godwin went with her sister and friends – the poets Percy Shelley and Lord Byron – to the Geneva Lake to disperse. Due to bad weather, it was necessary to disperse in four walls. Since television has not yet been invented, and the Internet youth forgot to pay, they had to read each other. A lot of. Long. When worthy literature was over, it was decided to invent horror stories and read them aloud.

One evening, Mary presented to the court of friends a story about a scientist who, with the help of electricity, revived the sewn parts of the man. The story was called “Frankenstein, or Modern Prometheus”, and she was to become a world bestseller.

Byron, incidentally, also did not cool down. That summer, he wrote the first ever story about vampires with the talking title “Vampire”. One day she will inspire Bram Stoker to create “Dracula”.

And Sister Mary just got pregnant. In general, everyone was busy with business. It turns out that there is a plus in the cold summer weather.

Mary and her brainchild in the guise of Boris Karloff.
Mary and her brainchild in the guise of Boris Karloff.


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