That Was So Loud! Krakatoa Eruption Facts: The Deadliest Eruption in Indonesia in 1883
The Most Interesting Facts about Krakatoa Eruption
More than a hundred years ago the 1883 volcanic eruption of monstrous power blew up over the Sunda Strait – the echo of this terrible disaster is still found in some movies, oral histories, and journalistic publications. The island volcano Krakatoa is located in the strait between Java and Sumatra. Krakatoa, an uninhabited volcanic island, produced a massive explosion that released enormous amounts of ash and toxic gas into the atmosphere, caused plenty of tsunamis, and broad death to more than 35 thousand people. There are a lot of articles explaining what caused krakatoa to erupt and how it happened, but we know other interesting facts, which are unknown to a great mass of people! The eruption began in May, to be precise the 20th of May, in 1883, although before that Krakatoa did not seem to show any increased activity. The volcano was thought to have been extinct for more than two hundred years. But still, it thundered – and how!
The Krakatoa tsunami of 1883 came as a complete surprise to the locals when a thick column of black smoke, followed by volcanic ash, appeared above the crater of the volcano. It soared nearly eleven kilometers into the sky, and the tremors from the eruptions were felt by citizens of Jakarta (now the capital of Indonesia, but then called Batavia, the main city of Dutch India). This powerful and loud Indonesian volcano eruption was also heard on all shores of the islands of the Strait of Sound.
10 the Most Interesting Krakatoa Eruption Facts
Was This Eruption Sudden?
Nature tried to warn people with the signs at the beginning of May. Krakatoa was considered to be dormant since the 1600s, but, unfortunately, everything changed in 1883. The eruption caused such a big ash cloud, that it rose to a height of over 9 kilometers, was seen by the captain of a German ship, located at this time near the volcano. It is remarkable that the ash column was not seen from the Anjer ship, passing at 32 kilometers from Krakatoa, or the Merak frigate, cruising at 45 kilometers. The only people who had a chance to feel the first eruption, which was the least powerful, were the citizens of Batavia island located 100 km away from Krakatoa. A loud noise was heard on May 20, followed by doors and windows rattling in their homes. Was it a shockwave? No one knows!
The Start of the Eruption Was Not on August 27, as People Believed, but the Day Before
In the afternoon of August 26, Krakatoa threw a column of ash about 28 kilometers high into the atmosphere. Afterward, high waves swept the strait near the volcano. But the most frightening part of the catastrophe did occur on August 27.
On August 27 the Loudest Volcanic Eruption Was Heard at a Distance of More than 3500 km from Krakatoa
In the early morning on August 27, the Krakatoa volcano produced four massive explosions in 4.5 hours. Well, how loud were the Krakatoa eruptions? They were very loud, so the noise from them was heard even in cities located almost 4000 kilometers from the volcano! The final explosion was many times more destructive than the atomic explosion on the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, and the shock waves from the eruptions have been recorded around the world. It is unbelievable to imagine how loud was Krakatoa!
How Many Tsunami Were Generated by the Eruption of Krakatau?
Each explosion of the Krakatoa volcano caused huge tsunamis that struck neighboring islands. It is almost impossible to count the exact amount of tsunamis, but the scientific estimations claim more than 30 tsunamis! However, the largest tsunami loss of life during the Krakatoa eruption was caused by the last eruption. When the volcano cracked and collapsed into the ocean, the biggest wave, over 36 meters high, appeared. The power of it can be described with the consequences: it destroyed a coral block weighing 600 tons ashore, overturned tens of ships, killing hundreds of crew members, and destroyed almost 200 towns and villages on the Indonesian islands. There were no surviving witnesses of the Krakatau tsunami from ships. Of the total of 40 000 dead, about 90% died because of the Krakatau tsunami. The remaining 10% were victims of falling volcanic debris and pyroclastic flows.
14 Cubic Kilometers of Gas and Ash Were Released by the Krakatoa Eruption
There was no sun in Indonesia, as the huge dark cloud covered the sky. This cloud has spread for 360 kilometers. The ash rose so high that there was total darkness in Java and Sumatra. Unbelievable, but because of this, the sun in Nicaragua, which is located far away from the Krakatoa, turned blue. After the eruption, the volcanic pumice floating in the ocean was up to three meters thick. It filled the seaports and hindered the movement of ships.
When the Eruption Ended, Most of the Island Was Gone
Before the eruption, Krakatoa Island was about 800 meters high and 4 to 7 meters wide. The explosion caused almost the entire island to go underwater. By the way, we have already posted an article about the Vesuvius volcano eruption. The eruption of this volcano produced a tsunami in a manner most similar to that of Krakatau, however, it was not that high.
Krakatoa Changed the Color of Sunsets Worldwide!
For three years after this super explosion happened, the sunsets have been red all over the world! They were beautiful and at the same time terrifying sunsets.
8. Munch’s painting depicts sunsets in Oslo that turned red because of Krakatoa.
In 2003, researchers reported that they had discovered the exact spot in Oslo, Norway, where the human figure from Munch’s famous painting, which dates back to 1893, stands. They also determined that the blood-red sky in the painting was caused by ash particles from Krakatoa. One of the most amazing 1883 Krakatoa eruption facts!
The Eruption Caused Temperatures around the World to Drop for a Long Period
The huge amount of volcanic debris covered the atmosphere in a way that the sunlight hardly penetrated the earth. And the consequence of this was the drop in the global temperature. It did not return to its normal levels until the end of the 19th century.
A Baby Volcano at the Site of Former Krakatoa
Scientists discovered that a new volcano had grown from the caldera of Krakatoa. It was named Anak Krakatoa, which means the child of Krakatoa. The volcano remains active to this day.