Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Krakatoa

Just finished reading about the explosion of Krakatoa in the book Krakatoa:  The Day the World Exploded.   Over 36,000 people died in the explosion and the resulting tsunami.

This island exploded and blew 5-6 cubic miles of rock/dirt into the air.  The island disappeared after the explosion and it is said that the sound wave traveled around the world 5-6 times.   It was heard by people over 1500 miles away.    Some think of it as the loudest sound heard in modern times.  This part of the world has many active volancos and is probably the hot spot for this kind of activity and risk.

One part of the book tells of stories of large eruptions there in prior years 416 AD, 535 AD and 1680 AD and probably other times.   Today, the island has reappeared and it is growing taller by 5 inches per week.   I wonder if this might happen again?

There are lots of interesting things in the book about plate tetonics, the connection of remote sites via telegraph, the spread of Islam, and colonial life in the 1800s.  

Thanks to Pat for recommending it.

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