Hot cocoa, sledding down snow-covered hills, the cheer of the holiday season. Yeah, we all love this magical festive atmosphere, if… it happens in winter, not summer. But what if you found yourself staring at frozen streets during what should be the hottest time of the year?
Sounds exactly like that: a fun “what if” thought experiment that’s purely hypothetical. But this time, it’s not! Welcome to 1816: The Year Without a Summer…
-June 1816 felt more like January in Europe. Days went by, and the weather still hasn’t changed. Farmers across the continent are losing their harvest to frost and lack of sunshine. Cows can’t feed on fresh grass, so they can’t make milk. Snowstorms and blizzards could knock you over.
-The first prototype of the bicycle didn’t have pedals – you just had to kick your feet off the ground to use this “walking machine”.
-Lord Byron and Mary Shelley were in Switzerland at the moment. He wrote an apocalyptic poem called Darkness, and she came up with her novel Frankenstein.
-Hurricanes with hail, heavy downpours in the spring, frosts, and snow in the summer. Cornfields are frozen. Stocks of food are depleted in North America.
-Monsoons have wrecked the provinces. Heavy rains have flooded rice paddy, there’s frost and snow every night in China.
-Caribbean coast is still incredible! For the next 6 months, you can sunbathe and make a living on fishing.
-From 1795 to 1820, there was minimal sun activity. The temperature of the seas and oceans decreased as well because of that sun problem. Last but certainly not least, there was the main reason for the long long winter of 1816: volcanoes.
-The temperature on the planet plummeted because of all the volcanoes that exploded one after another in 1812. Volcanic ash covered the sky with such a dense layer that it was able to block the sun’s rays like a giant curtain over the sky.
-A volcano spews out a lot of chemical elements from the depths of our planet. And some of these elements are poisonous for living creatures and can cause acid rains.