Iceland's Laki volcano produced the largest lava flow in historic times when a fissure 16-miles long sent a flow of pahoehoe (fast-moving, smooth or ropy lava) more than 40 miles in 1783. The 2.9 cubic miles of lava covered 218 square miles. The eruption continued intermittently for four months.
Fluorine gas fell to the land as hydrofluoric acid in Iceland, dissolving the flesh off livestock. Fully half the horses and cattle, as well as three-quarters of the sheep died. Famine set in, the social order broke down, and looting was rampant. Eventually, a quarter of Iceland's people died of starvation.