LANDMARKS OF WORLD HISTORY

A Chronology of Remarkable Natural Phenomena
19th Century 1851-1860
Numbers show sources
Date
Location
Phenomenon
Description

1851 January 26
Mexico
Meteor impact?
Earthquake at Guerrero just before large meteor passed across sky and exploded on nearby mountain. (56)

1851 February 6
Australia
Heat
“Black Thursday’; shade temperature of 117° F., Melbourne. Fires in Victoria killed 10 persons. (111)

1851 February 28
Mediterranean
Earthquake
Shock killed 1,000 persons in Rhodes. (55)

1851 April 13
Scandinavia
Earthquake
4 shocks felt in Sweden and Norway. (61)

1851 May 22
India
Hail
Pumpkin-sized hailstones fell at Bangladore.

1851 June 14 (c.)
Ireland
Summer snow
Snow ‘some inches deep’ in the north of Ireland. (60)

1851 July 1
Hungary
Earthquake
Many houses damaged at Komorn. (59)

1851 July 16
United States
Tornado
A tornado about half a mile wide in Oneida County, New York. (57)

1851 August 5
Martinique, West Indies
Volcano
Mont Pelee erupts. See here (64)

1851 August 13
United States
Hail
Hailstones of 1½ lbs. fell in New Hampshire.

1851August 14
Italy
Earthquake
Neopolitan towns of Melfi, Barile, Rassello and Rionero ruined; over 900 killed. (76)

1851 September 25
India
Ball lightning or meteor?
Thunderstorm at Bombay; ‘large mass’ rushed through the air, fireball fell into sea. (29)

1851 September 29
England
Aurora
Orange, scarlet and pink aurora cast shadows, Nottingham. (114)

1851 October 4 - 6
Canada
Gale
Over 80 ships wrecked off Prince Edward Island, 800 drowned. (62)

1851 October 5
Ireland
Tornado
Man carried over quarter-mile wide river by tornado, Limerick. (97)

1851 November 5 (c.)
Albania
Earthquake
Several shocks ruined Vallona; 2,000 killed. (63)

1851 November 5
Spain
Bolide
Many stones fell between Valls and Tarragona after fireball and detonation; one weighed 19 lbs. (50)

1851 November or December
Sicily
Tornadoes
Two waterspouts became tornadoes and crossed W Sicily; 500 killed. See here (58)



1852 January 8 - 10
Strath Tay, Scotland
Blizzard
Gale and heavy snow, ‘severest for 30 years’, caused loss of life. (112)


1852 January 21
United States
Winter cold
Chesapeake Bay filled with ice. (67)

1852 January 23
India
Meteorite
A 30 lbs. stone fell at Yatoor after detonation. (52)

1852 February 22
Algeria
Snow
About 300 troops killed in snowstorm near Bougia. (68)

1852 April 29
United States
Earthquake
Shock affected 187,000 square mile area, eastern U.S. (106)

1852 May 17
France
Ball lightning
Large reddish-brown fireball rose from trees in thunderstorm, Beuzeville; affected telegraph instruments. (46)

1852 June 5 (c.)
Prussia
Cloudburst?
“Waterspout’ burst in Mulhausen and Heiligenstadt districts, great damage and loss of life. (65)

1852 August -December
South of England
Rain
32.47 inches of rain fell in Sussex. (113)

1852 August 3
Mediterranean
Lightning
Ship Maisie split in two and sunk by lightning off Malta; 16 drowned, 1 survivor. (70)

1852 August 21
Sicily
Volcano
Eruption of Etna lasted till May 27, 1853. (107)

1852 September 4
Transylvania
Meteorites
A shower of stones, largest 10 kg., fell at Mezo-Madaras after detonating meteor. (52)

1852 September 21 (c.)
Italy
Glaciers
A flood from the Aosta glaciers devastated the country between Courmayeur and Morgex. (72, 103)

1852 October 13
Russia
Meteorite
A 15 lbs. stone fell at Borkut. (52)

1852 October 27
British Isles
Gale
E’ly gale from Cornwall to Scotland; over 18 ships and 100 men lost. (71)

1852 November 9
British Isles
Earthquake
Earthquake felt in northern England, Scotland and eastern Ireland. Damage in Ireland. (69)

1852 November 11
Scotland
Aurora
Aurora affected telegraph, preventing message transmission, Glasgow. (66)

1852 December 17
England
Anomalous phenomenon
Ball of red light in cloud, off Dover; after 10 minutes ball fell into sea with great spray. (29, 36)

1852 December 26 -27
British Isles
Gale
Violent storm did much damage in London, Cornwall, Wales, Yorkshire, Ireland, etc. Many shipwrecks. (77)



1853 February
Paris
Mirage
An inverted mirage of Paris was seen above Montmartre for 20 minutes. (75)

1853 February 10
Sicily
Meteorites
3 stones fell at Girgenti. One weighed 7 lbs. (52)

1853 February 15
Ireland
Blizzard
Steam packet Queen Victoria struck rocks of Howth Island in snowstorm; 83 drowned. (102)

1853 April 1 - 2
England, France
Earthquake
‘Alarming’ shock at St Servan (France); people remained up all night. Also felt at Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. (74)

1853 May 12
India
Hail
A hailstorm north of Peshawar killed 84 persons and 3,000 cattle. Round ice masses 1 foot in circumference. (39)

1853 June 1
Tennessee, United States
Astronomical anomaly?
Two luminous bodies near Sun at sunrise; one starlike, the other like ‘small new moon’. (38, 40)

1853 July 11
Iran
Earthquake
Strong earthquake and many aftershocks, Luristan; 10,000 killed. (24)

1853 August 26
Wiltshire, England
Tornado
Tornado 400 yards wide at Marlborough; many trees destroyed, buildings damaged. (27)

1853 August 31
Olmutz
Comet
A comet seen in daylight, 12° from Sun. Perihelion September 1. (123)

1853 September 2
England, Ireland
Aurora?
Serpentine ‘auroral meteor’ moved from E to W, Dublin, Huddersfield, etc. Aurora seen from York. See here (73)

1853 September 29
Scotland
Gale
Immigrant ship Annie James driven ashore, Hebrides; 348 drowned. (109)

1853 October 28
England
Bolide
Daylight detonating meteor, Beeston, Retford; ‘black point’ fell to earth. (3)

1853 October 29
Taiwan
Volcano
Submarine eruption off Hualien until Jan. 1854. (48)



1854 January 2
England
Winter cold
After heavy snow, temperatures of 15° F., London, 4° F., Birmingham, -21° F., Shields. Two policemen froze to death, Hounslow. (81)

1854 January 3 - 7
Europe
Snow
Heavy snow in Britain, France, Belgium, Austria, etc. Most rivers frozen. Thaw on 6th. (81)

1854 January 20
United States
Tornado
Quarter-mile wide tornado levelled 50,000 trees in half an hour in Knox County, Ohio; 3 killed. (49, 80, 110)

1854 January 22
Indian Ocean
Tornado
A waterspout dismasted the ship Asia, 0° S., 82° E. (78)

1854 March 15
England
Bolide
Exploding daylight meteor, Shrewsbury; explosion and rumbling for 5 minutes. (124)

1854 April 10
India
Tornado
A tornado at Rungpoor in Bengal ‘depopulated villages’. (82)

1854 July 9
Japan
Earthquake
Submarine earthquake and sea wave killed 2,400 at Yamato, Iga, and Ise. (28, 109)

1854 September
Spain
Flood
‘Bursting waterspout’ destroyed the town of Doroca, Arragon. (83)

1854 November 14
Russia
Gale
‘Hurricane’ swept Black Sea coast; many British and Franch ships besieging Sebastopol wrecked; ‘immense loss of life’. (79)

1854 December
South Atlantic
Ice
‘Ice island’ 100 miles long and 40 miles across between 40° and 44° S., until April 1855. (101)

1854 December 11
India
Hail?
Flat ice pieces weighing several pounds fell at Poorhunder.

1854 December 23
Japan
Earthquake
Submarine earthquake and sea wave destroyed Tokaido, Shikoku and Osaka; 3,000 killed. (8, 28, 109)



1855 January 1
Holland, Germany
Gale and flood
‘Hurricane and inundation’ flooded Hamburg. Dutch coast to Lubeck affected, 75 drowned in shipwrecks. (86)

1855 January 15
Russia
Winter cold
40 French soldiers frozen to death in tents before Sebastopol; temperature of 14° F. (84)

1855 January 23
New Zealand
Earthquake
Submarine earthquake in Cook Strait badly damaged Wellington. (45)

1855 January 24
Germany
Winter cold
River Rhine frozen over at Mannheim. (99)

1855 February 3
England
Ice storm
“Glazed frost’ in Sussex. (113)

1855 February 11 - 16
England
Winter cold
Thames frozen. Minimum temperature of 7° F. at Lewisham, 11th. (85)

1855 May
Italy
Volcano
Vesuvius erupts; ‘vast floods of lava’. (19)

1855 May 11
Estonia
Meteorites
Several stones fell into the sea and on the island of Oesel, after detonation. 13 lbs. of fragments found. (52)

1855 May 13
Germany
Meteorites
Several stones fell at Bremervorde; total 16 lbs. (52)

1855 May 17
Latvia
Anomalous meteorite
A ‘pumiceous glassy object’ fell at Igast with detonations. (52)

1855 June 11
Italy
Astronomical anomaly?
Ritter and Schmidt saw a black body crossing the Sun’s disc just before sunset. (96)

1855 June 21
England
Summer cold
A white frost in the South of England.

1855 August 5
Tennessee, United States
Meteorite
A 4 lbs. stone fell at Petersburg after detonations. (52)

1855 August 11
Hawaii
Volcano
Great eruption of Mauna Loa. (54)

1855 September 17
Australia
Earthquake
Nocturnal earthquake with rumbling at Melbourne. (89)

1855 November 12
Japan
Earthquake
Jeddo city destroyed, 30,000 killed. (90)

1855 November 18
North Africa
Waterspout
Huge tornadic waterspout moved across Tunis harbour, sinking 5 vessels. 3 persons were drowned. (34)

1855 December 3 (c.)
Mississippi, United States
Winter cold
River Mississippi crossed by wagons on ice at St. Paul. (88)



1856
Australia
Tornado
“Hissing black cloud’ damaged prison at Fremantle. (119)

1856 January 5 - 6
United States
Blizzard
Great snowstorm on the Atlantic coast from Maryland to Halifax. Intense cold followed. (87)


1856 January 6
Isla de Sao Jorge, Azores
Earthquake?
A large sea wave at Velos damaged the town walls and several houses. (31)

1856 January 26 (reported)
Indian Ocean
New Island?
Ship Ben Nevis found an island with high mountain ridge 120 miles S. of the Crozets. Ship later visited the Crozets. (22)

1856 February 20
North Atlantic
Ice
Packet John Rutledge struck iceberg and sank; 135 persons lost. (5)

1856 March 2
Molluca Islands
Volcano
Awu Volcano erupted. Lava streams and sea waves killed 2,300. (4, 107)

1856 March 14
Black Sea
Gale
48-hour storm sank 25 ships between Varna and mouth of the Danube. (90)

1856 April 9 - 10
South Atlantic
Hurricane
Clipper Light of the Age encountered the eye of a hurricane, 35° 30’ S., 30° 52’W. (15)

1856 May 13
Germany
Meteorites?
‘Fall of meteoric stones’ near Bremervorde in thunderstorm. One weighed 7 lbs. (40)

1856 May 31
Germany
Tornado?
Thunderstorm and ‘hurricane’ did great damage in Saxe-Coburg; ‘great casualties to man and beast’. (6)

1856 July 8
United States
Fall
Mass of ‘lava’ the size of a barrel fell near Aberdeen, Mississippi. (40)

1856 August 21
Balearic Islands, Mediterranean
Earthquake
Sea wave did much damage to Mahon. (9)

1856 September 22
Somerset and Wiltshire, England
Tornado
Tornadoes at Glastonbury and Cliffe Pypard caused much tree and building damage. (116)

1856 October 6
Rhodes
Lightning
Lightning exploded gunpowder stored beneath Church of St Jean. 4,000 killed. (46)

1856 October 12
Crete
Earthquake
Eastern shores of Crete much damaged; 750 killed. (109)

1856 October 27
Phillipines
Typhoon
Over 13,500 houses destroyed around Manilla. (2)

1856 November 12
Italy
Meteorites
3 stones fell at Trenzano; one weighed 9 kg. (52)

1856 December 31
France
Snowstorm
3-day thunderstorm in the South of France filled the streets of Lyons with snow. (13)



1857 January 2
United States, Canada
Blizzard
Deep snow from Great Lakes to coast; -40° F. in New York. (121)

1857 January 3 - 5
England
Gales
40 ships wrecked between Flamborough Head and Tynemouth. (120)

1857 January 6
Equatoria, Sudan
Earthquake
Rockfalls; Ilengwe; waves on Nile. (25)

1857 January 9
Earthquake
Southern California
Shocks for 3 minutes; great ground movements. 2 killed. (117)

1857 February 2
Egypt
Dust storm
Dense dust fog 50 miles out to sea. “Khamseen’ blew down trees and upset railway carriages, Alexandria. (13)

1857 February 4
Beeston, Nottingham, England
Lunar halo complex
22° halo, 46° halo, two 22° circles each side of Moon. (17)

1857 February 28
India
Meteorites
Two stones, 134 lbs. and 37 lbs., fell near Madras after detonations. (52)

1857 April 1
Costa Rica
Meteorites
Many stones, largest 2 lbs., fell at Heridia after exploding meteor. (52)

1857 May 20
Persia
Dust storm darkness
Darker than midnight, Baghdad; heavy fall of red sand. (47, 108)

1857 June 17
Illinois, United States
Fall
Shower of ‘cinders’ seen to fall, Ottawa; showery weather. (37)

1857 July 11
Germany
Lightning
Church struck at Grosshad; 9 killed, 100 injured. (46)

1857 July 27
Cricklewood, London
Fall?
Block of ice weighing 25 lbs. found in field after storm. (41)

1857 August 6
Scarborough, Yorkshire
Rain
‘Waterspout’ burst; rain-gauge holding 9 inches overflowed. (122)

1857 September 10
France
Flood
Rivers of Doux, Erieux and Ardeche rose 60 feet; country round laid waste. (42)

1857 December 16
Italy
Earthquake
Shock centred near Naples; over 10,000 killed. (109)



1858 January 15
Europe
Earthquake
Shock centred in N.W. Hungary affected Bohemia, Silesia, Schleswig and Moravia. (42)

1858 March 15
England
Solar eclipse
Pearl-ring eclipse central in England; annularity lasted 80 seconds at Fotheringay. See here (92, 118)

1858 June 21
United States
Squall
‘Tornado and thundershower’ lasting 30 minutes flooded New York; much damage, 2 killed. (93)

1858 July 3 (reported)
Newfoundland
Gale
300 fishermen drowned. (94)

1858 August 1
Manchester, England
“Vulcan”
Wilson observed ‘partial transit’ of opaque body over Sun. (38)

1858 September 4 (reported)
Hungary
‘Cloudburst’
‘Waterspout’ broke near Kosslad; 400 livestock drowned. Another threw down houses at Pernowa; another drowned over 100 persons at Plewna. (10)

1858 September 4
England
Comet
Tail of Donati’s Comet over 32° long. Star Arcturus passed through tail on Oct. 5. (16, 23, 51)



1859 January 23
Hawaii
Volcano
Eruption of Mauna Loa. Fire-fountains 1,000 feet high, many lava flows. (54, 107)

1859 February 9
Glamorgan, Wales
Fall
Live minnows and sticklebacks fell at Aberdare, with rain. (98)

1859 March 9
Sicily
Landslide
Large mass of the mountain of Sciacca gave way under snow; 100 killed. (95)

1859 March 22
South America
Earthquake
City of Quito wrecked; ‘5,000 killed’. (1)

1859 March 26
France
‘Vulcan”
Lescarbault’s observation of a small round body crossing the Sun. (38, 43)

1859 March 28
United States
Meteorites
A shower of stones in Harrison County, Indiana, after detonations. (52)

1859 April 5
Phillipines
A 23 lbs. stone fell at Pampagna. (52)

1859 April 30
Red Sea
Thunderstorm
3-hour storm destroyed 187 stone houses, Aden;; 20 or 30 persons drowned. (21)

1859 June 2
Turkey
Earthquake
‘One terrible shock’; over 1,500 killed. (7)

1859 August 28
Europe
Aurora
‘Brilliant aurora’ seen in southern England, Rome, and Basel. Great aurora seen is South Australia, 29 Aug. and 2 Sept. (12, 18)

1859 September 1
England
Solar event
White-light solar flare observed telescopically by Carrington; intense magnetic storm followed. (30)

1859 September 1
Central America
Aurora
Aurora seen in zenith, Puerto Rico, 18° N. (44)

1859 September 2
West Indies
Aurora
Brilliant aurora, Jamaica. (11)

1859 September 15
United States
‘Vulcan’
Tice observed a ‘black object’ which took 2 hours to cross the Sun. (40)

1859 October 4
London
Late heat
Maximum temperature of 81° F. at Greenwich. (115)

1859 October 25
England
Gale
Steamer Royal Charter wrecked near Holyhead, 480 drowned. 68 other ships lost, 795 drowned. (53, 102)

1859 November 15
United States
Bolide
A brilliant daylight meteor was seen over New Jersey. It exploded at a height of 20 miles. (104)


1859 December 30
Wiltshire, England
Tornado
Powerful tornado 150 yards wide did much damage near Calne; track 6 miles long. Many injured. (20)



1860 February 8
France
Ball lightning
Small rolling fireball indoors killed 5, Bouin. (42)

1860 April 11
Brazil
Obscuration
‘Sun diminished’ in cloudless sky, Pernumbuco; Venus visible. See here (32, 47)

1860 May 1
United States
Meteorites
Bolide exploded over Noble County, Ohio; many stones fell at New Concord. (26)

1860 May 21
United States
Windstorm
“Wind rush’ swept Ohio Valley; about 100 killed. (105)

1860 June 3
United States
Tornadoes
Tornadoes in Iowa and Illinois killed 150 persons. (35)

1860 July 14
India
Meteorite
Several stones, largest 329 lbs., fell at Dhurmsalla, after exploding meteor. (42, 52)

1860 July 20
United States
Meteor
Great disintegrating fireball passed from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean (August 2?)

1860 August 2
United States
A meteor fireball the size of the full Moon was seen over a 900 mile area. It exploded at a height of 28 miles over Kentucky and Tennessee. (104)

1860 December 25
London
Winter cold
A minimum temperature of 6.7° F. at Camden Square, 8° F. at Greenwich. (33)