August 27, 2013


On this day 130 years ago an Indonesian island disappeared.
The eruption of Krakatoa in the Sunda Strait was equivalent to 200 megatons of TNT  —about 13,000 times the yield of the bomb that devastated Hiroshima, Japan.
The 1883 eruption ejected approximately 5 cubic miles of rock, ash, and pumice. The cataclysmic explosion was heard in Perth, Australia, about 1,930 miles to the south, as well as the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius, about 3,000 miles to the west. [You read that right. It was HEARD 3000 miles away.]
At least 36,417 people died, and many more thousands were injured, mostly from the tsunamis that followed the explosion.
The pressure wave generated by the colossal fourth and final explosion radiated out from Krakatoa at 675 mph. It was so powerful that it ruptured the eardrums of sailors on ships in the Sunda Strait, and caused a spike of more than 2½ inches of mercury in pressure gauges attached to gasometers in the Batavia gasworks, sending them off the scale. The pressure wave radiated across the globe and was recorded on barographs all over the world, which continued to register it up to 5 days after the explosion. Barographic recordings show that the shock-wave from the final explosion reverberated around the globe 7 times in total.  [Yep, you read that right too. The shock wave from the most devastating explosion circled the globe seven times and registered -measurably- for five days.]
Now, 130 years later, Son of Krakatoa, Anak Krakatau, grows at a rate of nearly 7 meters a year. 

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