Living in one of the most volcanically active areas in the world, Icelanders not surprisingly have a number of words that derive meaning from eruptions.
One such word, ‘öskumyrkur,’ or “ash darkness,” may be used to describe a particularly dark Icelandic winter night. However, that degree of darkness pales in comparison to the darkness that results when ash blocks out the sun, stars and lights.
It’s difficult to imagine without experiencing it, and we don’t recommend experiencing it, so watch this short video of us driving into ‘öskumyrkur’ instead. It was taken at around noon on Sunday, May 22 after Grímsvötn erupted and blanketed southeast Iceland in ash.
A few minutes later, it got so dark that we couldn’t see even one road marker ahead of us. With no sense for whether the car was rolling forward, backward, left ways or right ways, your pals at The Grapevine had to call the Icelandic rescue team for help. Unfortunately, we were too scared at that point to remember to film.