If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might have noticed I’m a little bit interested in volcanoes. I wrote about Mt. St. Helens and Vesuvius and I’ll probably get around to marking their anniversary again some day, too. To the western world, these are probably the most widely known active volcanoes. The third in that trinity is Krakatoa, in Indonesia.
Krakatoa blew its top on this day, one hundred and thirty-three years ago, in 1883.
It was one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history, with over 36,000 deaths as a result of the eruption and the tsunamis it created.
Massive after effects were also felt around the world, including temporary climate change, with global average temperatures dropping for years afterwards. Also for years afterwards, the sky was visibly dimmed, affecting crops and migratory patterns. Sulfuric acid increased in the atmosphere, and eventually fell to the ground as acid rain.
Two-thirds of the entire volcanic archipelago disappeared almost overnight.
Since then, Krakatoa has rebuilt itself and gives off regular minor eruptions. Seismologists and volcanologists keep a very careful eye on it, these days.