LANDMARKS OF WORLD HISTORY
A Chronology of Remarkable Natural Phenomena
Numbers show sources
19th Century 1871-1880
Date
Location
Phenomenon
Description

1871
Arctic Ocean
Ice
Almost entire whaling fleet trapped in pack ice and lost. All crews were rescued. (3)

1871 February 12
Peru
Tornado
Tornadoes at Pitchicani, Huacochullo and Atucachi. (9)

1871 March
Peru
Anomalous lightning
‘Brilliant electrical phenomena’ around the peak of Tacora on the coast of Peru, for over 2 hours. (9)

1871 March 5
Celebes
Volcano
‘Frightful eruption’ of Roeang; sea wave destroyed 3 villages; 416 killed. (5)

1871 April 23
Bath, Engalnd
Fall
‘Myriads of small annelidae’ (worms) fell in a gale. Another fall on 29th, in a thunderstorm. (1)

1871 May 1
Phillipines
Volcano
Fissure opened in the island of Camiguin, 26,000 fled; ‘tremendous eruption’ of new volcano. (10)

1871 June 16
Turkey
Tornadoes
Severe thunderstorm at Constantinople; 3 waterspouts on the Bosphorus. (7)

1871 June 19
United States
Earthquake
Severe shock at Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York; some damage. (7)

1871 July 30
Buckinghamshire, England
Tornado
Tornado 100 yards wide, Chilton; 2-ton wagon carried over a hedge. (8)

1871 September 7
-
Solar event
Filaments of a solar prominence rose 200,000 miles above the Sun’s surface at 166 miles per second. (2)

1871 October 8
Wisconsin, United States
Forest fires
‘Tornadoes of fire’ around Lake Michigan killed about 1,500 persons. (6)

1871 December 10
Java
Meteorites
Six stones fell at Bandong; total weight over 11 kg. (4)



1872 January 28
Caucasus
Earthquakes
Town of Schamachi destroyed by succession of shocks, ‘many lives lost’. (16)

1872 February 4
World
Aurora
Great aurora seen from Europe, Turkey, Egypt, India, United States, Mauritius, Tobago, etc. (53)

1872 March 26
United States
Earthquake
Owens Valley earthquake, California; 60 killed; said to have been felt in Mexico City. (20)

1872 April 3
Syria
Earthquake
Antioch ‘half destroyed’; 1,500 killed. (17)

1872 April 23
Italy
Volcano
Eruption of Vesuvius began; cone deeply fissured, many lava flows. Eruption ended May 1st. (14)

1872 May 10
Latvia
Tornado
Tornado in the Wenden region; board carried 25 kilometres. (15)

1872 May 22
Livonia
Tornadoes damaged 74 farms; 7 killed. (15)

1872 June
Java
Volcano
Eruption of Merapi; 4,000 killed.

1872 June 18
England and Wales
Lightning
11 persons killed by lightning on this day (only 2 in same location). (12)

1872 July 11
Lincolnshire, England
Tornado
Great tree and building damage between Lincoln and Grantham. (19)

1872 July 23
France
Meteorites
A shower of stones fell at Lance, largest 47 kg. (4)

1872 July 29
France
Solar event
‘Blazing protuberance’ in great sunspot. (11)

1872 August 25
Ireland
Tornado
Waterspout on Lough Neagh became a destructive tornado with track 3 miles long. (18)

1872 November
Italy
Tornado
Tornado wrecked buildings in Palazzolo; 32 killed. (13)

1872 November 27
British Isles
Meteor shower
10,579 meteors in 6 hours at Glasgow; 15,000 at Nottingham. (2)

1873 January 9 - 12
Iceland
Volcano
Eruption of Skaptar Jokull. Ashes fell over the N.E. coast. (21)

1873 April 18
England
Aurora
An auroral corona seen from Carlisle. (26)

1873 June
Pakistan
Meteorites
4 stones, largest 6 lbs., fell at Jhung. (4)

1873 June 5
Jamaica
Zodiacal Light
A ’strong beam of light’ 100 degrees long in the Zodiacal Light for about a minute. (25)

1873 June 29
Austria
Tornado
Huge tornado wrecked industrial exhibition, Vienna; ‘many killed’. (15)

1873 July 26
Maine, United States
Tornado
Railway bridge carried away by tornado between Oldtown and Milford; engine fell into river, 1 person killed. (22)

1873 August 14 - 27
United States
Hurricane
Storm off the U.S. east coast wrecked 1,223 ships; 223 killed. (29)

1873 August 24
California, United States
Meteorite
A 12 lbs. aerolite damaged treetops and buried itself 8 feet in the ground. (28)

1873 September 23
Pakistan
Meteorites
A shower of stones, total weight 30 lbs., fell at Khairpur after group of meteors and explosions

1873 November 27 - 28
Red Sea
Meteor shower
‘Thousands of shooting stars’ throughout the night. (27)

1873 December 16
California, United States
Tornado
Town of Milton destroyed; many injured. (23)

1873 December 17 - 23
London
Fog
“Awful fog’, densest since 1805, many traffic accidents. (24)



1874 February 4
South of England
Aurora
Two arches with streamers seen from Sussex. (38)


1874 March 20 (before)
North Carolina, United States
Volcano??
‘Rumblings’ and vapour from Bald Mountain, McDowell Co., N.C., caused alarm. (34)

1874 March 27
Mauritius
Hurricane
Port Louis badly damaged, many lives lost. (36)

1874 May 10
London
Spring cold
A minimum temperature of 27° F. at Greenwich. (39)

1874 May 24
United States
Anomalous lightning
Continual lightning discharged upwards from the summit of Pike’s Peak. (33)

1874 June 30
China
Meteorite?
‘A huge stone’ crushed a cottage during a thunderstorm at Chin-kuei Shan; 1 killed. (32)

1874 July 26
Pennsylvania, United States
Flood
A thunderstorm flash flood near Pittsburg drowned 134 persons. (30)

1874 August 13 (reported)
United States, Canada
Fog and ice
Fog for 1,600 miles on North American east coast; field ice and bergs seen at 42° N. (31)

1874 September 23
Hong Kong
Typhoon
Many vessels lost, 1,000 drowned; ‘fearful damage’ at Macao. (37)

1874 November 16 (reported)
Bay of Biscay
Ice
Icebergs seen in the Bay during ‘very rough weather’. (35)

1874 December 8
-
Planetary event
Transit of Venus. See here (2)

1874 December 16 - 17
Sussex, England
Snow
13 inches of level snow on Crowborough Hill. (38)



1875 January 2
Iceland
Volcano
Askja erupted. Ash fell in Stockholm. (42)

1875 January 15
Eastern United States
Ice
Ice floes and pack ice, sometimes unbroken for 15 miles, until Feb. 25th. (44)

1875 January 16
Prussia
Earthquake?
Shock ‘lasting several hours’ in area of 120 square yards, Ronsdorf; fissures. (43)

1875 January 14 and 31
London
Zodiacal Light
A bright display of the Zodiacal Light. Again on Feb. 25. (46)

1875 February 12
Iowa, United States
Meteorites
About 100 stones fell at Homestead; total 500 lbs. (4)

1875 March 9
-
Planetary event
Uranus became much brighter, turning from blue to white ‘with a suspicion of yellow’ (telescopic). (40)

1875 March 20
United States
Tornadoes
A tornado outbreak in Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina. 72 killed. One tornado with continuous track 75 miles long. (30)

1875 March 29 - 30
Norway and Sweden
Fall
Heavy rain of grey ash. (47)

1875 March 31
Romania
Meteorites
A shower of stones fell at Zsadany after detonations. (4)

1875 April 15
North Atlantic
Ice
Heavy ice fields ‘as far as the eye could reach’, 44° 07’ N., 49° 12’ W. (52)

1875 April 24
India
Meteorite
A 26 lbs. stone fell at Nagaria. (4)

1875 May 1
United States
Tornadoes
A tornado outbreak in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina. 60 killed. (30)

1875 May 3 - 5
Turkey
Earthquake
A shock in the interior killed several thousand persons. (48)

1875 May 18
New Grenada, Central America
Earthquake
Shock in the Cucata Valley; 16,000 killed. (50)

1875 June 29
North Atlantic
Ice
Ice obstructed U.S. and Canadian ports; 100 icebergs sighted off Newfoundland.

1875 August 18
Sweden
Tornado
Branches and house fragments ‘carried for miles’, Hallsberg

1875 September 15
Texas, United States
Hurricane
Indianola ‘washed away or tumbled down’; about 200 killed. (51)

1875 September 21
New Mexico, United States
Hail
Devastating wind and hailstorm in S.W. New Mexico; some stones weighed over 1 lb. (45)

1875 December 17
Bermuda
Tornado
Damage at Tuckerstown and St. David’s Island; several persons killed. (41)



1876 January 21
England
Blizzard
14 killed in a multiple train collision at Peterborough; weight of snow forced signals to all-clear position.

1876 March 3
Kentucky, United States
Fall
‘Rain of flesh’ around Mount Sterling, Bath County; ‘bucketful’ gathered. (56, 57)

1876 March 12
London
Snow
Red snow fell near the Crystal Palace.

1876 March 12
Germany
Gale
A cyclonic storm over northern Germany travelled at a rate of 70 miles an hour. (64)

1876 April 20
Shropshire, England
Meteorite
An iron weighing almost 8 lbs. was found at Rowton after rumblings and explosion See here (55)

1876 May 6
Illinois, United States
Tornado
A tornado struck Chicago and moved on to Lake Michigan, in the form of ‘8 or 10 columns…whirling around a central point’. (30)

1876 June 19
Ukraine
Meteorite
A 16 kg. stone fell after explosions. (4)

1876 July 16
Ireland
Summer heat
A maximum temperature of 92° F. at Dublin. (59)

1876 August 13
England
Summer heat
A maximum temperature of 97° F. at Bristol. (60, 62)

1876 September 24
England, France
Meteor
A ‘fiery globe’ with a scintillating train seen from Paris, London, Ipswich, Lincolnshire, Somerset, etc. (58)

1876 September 28
England
Tornado
A destructive tornado struck Cowes, isle of Wight, crossed the Solent and killed 2 persons in Hampshire. See here. (63)

1876 November 1
India
Cyclone
A cyclone struck the district of Backergunge, Bengal; 40-foot wave drowned 100,000 persons in half an hour; another 100,000 died of disease and famine. (29)

1876 December 7
England
Planet
Hall discovered a bright white spot on equatorial zone of Saturn; lasted 4 weeks. (54)

1876 December 21
United States
Meteor
A meteor appeared 75 miles above Kansas, travelled 1,000 miles at 15 miles a second and exploded between Chicago and St. Louis. Bloomington, Indiana (185 miles away) shaken by a ‘frightful explosion’. (55)

1876 December 23
United States
Halo complex
Denver. A 22° halo, 46° halo, partial 30° halo with contact arc, sun pillar, parhelic circle, circumzenithal circle and 8 parhelia. (61)



1877 January 3
Missouri, United States
Meteorite
A 100 lbs. stone fell at Warrenton. (67)

1877 January 15
Tennessee, United States
Fall?
1,000s of dark brown snakes found in a small area of Memphis after torrential rain; none seen to fall or found on roofs. (74)

1877 January 23
Kentucky and Ohio, United States
Earthquake and meteorite
A 6 kg. stone fell at Cynthiana, Kentucky, 4 p.m. Earthquake with rumbling noise in Ohio and Kentucky, 9 p.m.

1877 February
Mediterranean
Volcano
A submarine eruption in the Gulf of Tunis.

1877 February 6
England
Gale
18 fishing boats lost from Yarmouth and 7 from Lowestoft; 100 drowned. (69)

1877 February 17 (c.)
Eastern United States
Ice
70 ships trapped in sea ice off American east coat, 4 lost with crews. (68)

1877 March 17
South Africa
Bolide
Meteor turned night into day for ‘nearly a minute’, Cape Colony; rumbling noise and explosion.

1877 March 17
England
Meteor
A great meteor passed over Frome and Tetbury. (2)

1877 March 18
Sweden
Bolide
Meteor exploded 37 miles above Lake Vener. (66)

1877 April 4
England
Tornado
A violent tornado destroyed buildings and killed 1 person in Herefordshire. Another tornado uprooted trees near Birmingham. (80)

1877 April 29
Sweden and Finland
Bolide
Meteor lit up country like ‘full day’; exploded 35 km. up. Stones fell ‘like rain’ near Jockmock. (66)

1877 May 3
Texas, United States
Hailstorm
Hailstones ‘as large as a man’s hand’ killed thousands of sheep near Mason. (77)

1877 May 9
South America
Earthquake
Several destructive shocks in Chile and Peru; sea waves; town of Iquique, ‘shaken down, burnt or washed away’. Destructive sea waves at Hawaii. (77)

1877 May 28
United States
Aurora
Great aurora seen from Maine to Kansas and south to Kentucky. 3 arches of light at Washington and Detroit. Telegraphic communication disrupted. (77)

1877 June 4
Illinois, United States
Tornado
Mount Carmel destroyed by tornado; 22 killed; church spire carried 17 miles. (70, 76)

1877 June 24
Colorado, United States
Tornado and ice-fall
A tornado near Fort Lyon. Ice masses fell too large to be grasped in one hand. (76)

1877 June 25
South America
Volcano
Cotopaxi erupts; dark as midnight at midday at Quito, 26th; a nuee ardente blast travelled 200 miles and killed 1,000 persons. (43, 72)

1877 July 30
United States
A hailstorm at Yellowstone killed many Indian horses; stones as large as a fist. (75)

1877 August 12
New York, United States
Ball lightning
Fireball entered a church at Jamestown during storm; 1 person killed, several burned. (73)

1877 November 4
United States, Canada
Earthquake
Shock felt in New York, New England and parts of Canada. (78)

1877 November 19
South Africa
Meteorites
A shower of stones fell at Cronstadt; largest 6 lbs. (4)

1877 December 16
Siberia
High barometer
A barometric pressure of 31.62 inches (reduced and corrected) at Semipalatinsk. (79)



1878 January 10
New Hebrides
Volcano
Great eruption of Tanna; new cone; sea wave inundated island. (84)

1878 January 23
Peru and Bolivia
Earthquake
Destructive earthquake and sea wave, Iquique, Arequipa, Pica, Mantilla, Arica, etc. (84)

1878 March 24
England
Line squall
Training ship HMS Eurydice sunk off Isle of Wight with all hands.

1878 April 11
China
Tornado
’10,000 killed’ by tornadic waterspout, Canton. See here (83)

1878 May 30
Arizona, United States
Meteorite?
‘Large meteor fell’ 10 miles N.E. of Tucson; ‘large volume of smoke ascended’. (82)

1878 July 15
Czechoslovakia
Meteorite
A 28 kg. stone fell at Tieschitz after detonations. (4)

1878 August 12
United States
Meteor shower
Meteors ‘in every quarter of the horizon’, Chicago, 10:15 pm to midnight. (81)

1878 August 26
Europe
Earthquake
Shock felt over 2,000 square miles; Hanover, Strasburg, Paris, Liege, Brussels, Utrecht, etc. (84)

1878 August 29
Denmark
Meteorite
A 4 kg. stone fell at Mern after detonations. (4)

1878 September 5
India
Meteorites
Two stones, each of about 6 lbs., fell at Dandapur. (4)

1878 September 27
France
Glacier
The Mer de Glace glacier retreated 757 metres since Nov. 4, 1868.



1879 January 11
Indiana, United States
Meteorite?
Leonidas Grover killed in bed by a 20 lbs. meteorite, Newtown. (87)

1879 January 12
Florida, United States
Earthquake
Shocks at Jacksonville, Daytona, and Okahumpka; rumbling and buzzing sounds. (90)

1879 January 22 - 24
France
Glazed frost
Steady rain for 3 days froze as it fell, Fontainbleau and Orleans; ice on ground 1 inch thick. (29)

1879 January 28
United States
Bolide
Meteor shed ‘the light of noonday’. Traverse City, Michigan; great explosion followed. (2)

1879 January 31
France
Meteorite
A 2.8 kg. stone fell at Becasse after detonations. (4)

1879 February 1
Western Australia
Bolide
Daylight meteor left train of black smoke lasting 45 minutes. (85)

1879 February 24
England
Bolide
Meteor illuminated York; city shaken by a great explosion. (55)

1879 March 22
Persia
Earthquake
Shock destroyed 21 villages round Mianeh; 922 persons killed. (94)

1879 May 10
Iowa, United States
Meteorites
Several stony-iron meteorites, largest 437 lbs., and hundreds of fragments fell at Estherville after detonating fireball; 12-foot diameter crater formed. (4)

1879 May 14
Hungary
Volcano?
‘Volcanic eruption’, Csobancz, Lake Balaton. (93)

1879 May 15
Persian Gulf
Marine luminescence
Revolving luminous wheel with spokes seen from HMS Vulture. (57)

1879 May 30
Kansas, United States
Tornado
Two tornadoes struck Irving; second 2 miles wide. (15, 89)

1879 June 7
Switzerland, Italy
Meteor
Brilliant meteor seen from Geneva, Milan, etc.; ‘shower of aerolites’ fell into Lake Lugano, raising waves. (92)

1879 July 17
Algeria
Heat
An air temperature of 127° F. at Ouargla. (86)

1879 August 3
England
Hail
A hailstorm devastated Kew Gardens. (29)

1879 August 5
St. Cergues, Switzerland
Luminous phenomenon
A pine forest became luminous during a thunderstorm. (91)

1879 October 20
Spain
Floods
1,500 persons drowned in 5 villages, Murcia and Alicante. (57)

1879 November 4
India
Meteorite
A 10 lbs. stone fell at Kalambi. (4)

1879 December 3
Scotland
Cold
A minimum temperature of -16° F. at Kelso, Roxburgh. -23° F. reported at Blackadder, Berwickshire, 4th. (88)

1879 December 7
Europe
Cold winter
Frost over France, Switzerland,and Italy; -22° F. at Langres. Snow fell at Tunis. (29)

1879 December 28
Scotland
Tornado?
Tay Bridge collapsed in gale; 75 killed as train fell. ‘Luminous columns’ seen on river. (95)



1880 February - March
North Atlantic
Gales
Many ships lost in E’ly gales; training ship Atalanta, with crew of 290, missing. (97)

1880 March 22
Germany
Anomalous phenomena
‘Enormous number of luminous bodies’ crossed sky before sunrise, Kattenau. (57, 99)

1880 April 18
United States
Tornadoes
Tornadoes in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa killed 165 persons. (96)

1880 May
Persian Gulf
Marine luminescence
Two luminous wheels with spokes seen from steamer Patna. (57)

1880 May
Persia
Meteorite
A 54 kg. stony-iron meteorite fell at Veramin. (4)

1880 September 13
London
Ball lightning
Fireball in thunderstorm fell into Hendon lake and killed over 100 fish. (98)

1880 December 2
India
Meteorite
A 6 lbs. stone fell at Andhara. (4)

1880 December 9
South Africa
Meteorite
Two stones, largest 4.5 lbs., fell at Wittekranz, Cape Province. (67)

1880 December 27
Oregon, United States
Volcano
Fire and ‘lava sparks’ illuminated summit of Mount Baker. (100)