Monday, August 27, 2012

Today in history: Krakatoa explodes, 1883

Anak (son of) Krakatoa  This is just a small cone that formed after the eruption.
Krakatoa before it erupted on August 27, 1883
That image may involve some artistic license, since
the mountain was about 2,600 feet tall.
11 cubic miles of material were ejected
Krakatoa after the August 27, 1883 eruption
Which gives you some scale to appreciate how much bigger
 the island was before the eruption.  
As big as Krakatoa eruption was and wide spread its effects, it pales compared to the effects of the Toba Supervolcano eruption, which occurred approximately 74,000 years ago and led to the near extinction of human beings.  And there is a super volcano hot spot at Yellowstone that is overdue for a major eruption.
Toba;s erruption 74,000 years ago was 12% bigger than Yellowstone's largest known eruption ~2 million years ago.


  1. I am familiar with this event in history. It also led to major crop failures the following year.

    There was a film the 1960's called "Krakatoa, East of Java" which was geographically incorrect--Krakatoa is west of Java. I think the event was also the subject of an episode of the Time Tunnel, a favorite 60's TV show of mine.

    1. Correct. Krakatoa is in the strait between Sumatra and Java.

      There was an even bigger explosion in Indonesia at Mount Tambora about sixty years before and that led to the "year without summer" in 1816.

      We cannot take this stuff lightly. Krakatoa and the Mt. Tambora event happened the same century. Global warming panic aside, we will get another one of these events and the global starvation will be epic when it happens. The United States with all its abundance of food does not stock pile grain in any quantity. We should. If we had another Krakatoa event (which was really rather mild as volcanoes go) you can expect some really bad events in world food prices (and mass starvation in the developing world). But it would be bad in parts of North America too.

      Get ready for some real Hunger Games.

  2. If I recall correctly, the explosion was heard all the way in India.


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