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Climate event links “Frankenstein” and the invention of bicycles

What links together the invention of bicycles and the writing of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein? If you guess a historical climate event, you are exactly right! This year marks the 200th anniversary of the famous novel and next year will be the 200th anniversary of the development of the modern bicycle. Both of these events were preceded by the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which happened 200 years ago last year. The immense amount of material that was erupted high into the stratosphere blocked sunlight enough to cause the “Year Without a Summer.”  Mary Shelley and her friends found the summer so cold and uninviting that they spent a lot of time holed up in a house near Geneva, Switzerland, telling each other scary stories, which is where the story of Frankenstein and his monster creation came from. You can read more about the story at the Paris Review here.

Source: Jialiang Gao, Commons Wikimedia