The A to Z Challenge – K for Krakatoa

kAnd I’m participating in the A to Z Challenge for the entire month of April. I’m posting an interesting topic for each letter of the alphabet. This excludes Sneak Peek Sundays. Follow this link to nearly 2000 other bloggers and authors.
The A to Z Challenge – participating blogs

Today’s Calliope’s Writing Tablet post is brought to you by the letter K — K for Krakatoa.

It began that May in 1883. In the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra, a series of volcanic eruptions rocked western Indonesia. But one eruption mid-summer changed the face of the globe.

It came with a paroxysmal explosion – that is, a sudden and extremely violent explosion, that blasted the island apart with the force of 13,000 atomic bombs, and hurled a trillion cubic feet of pyroclastic (super-heated) rock, pumice, boulders, and ash into the air. The sound of Krakatoa’s eruption was heard 3,000 miles away in Australia and is considered to be the loudest sound the world has ever known. It even ruptured eardrums 10 miles away. Many were left deaf.

The release of volcanic pressure was followed by the cone’s collapse. When it formed a submerged caldera, it unleashed powerful tsunamis 136 feet high. According to different sources, the whole event killed between 36,000 and 120,000 people and destroyed 165 villages and towns. For months ships traveling across the Indian Ocean saw skeletons floating on rafts of volcanic pumice. Most washed ashore on the east coast of Africa.

Ash clouded the sky and changed the weather around the world. It’s been estimated that 1% of the sunlight bathing the planet was blocked for two years. The resulting decrease in absorbed radiation caused the upper layers of the oceans to cool and thereby contract. This caused the sea level to drop worldwide. The lingering ash painted sunsets so red and ominous, it looked as if the sky was ablaze. For three months, firemen were regularly called out in New York City and nearby towns thinking they had evening fires to fight. Holy cow.

Listen as author Simon Winchester discusses his book Krakatoa with NPR’s Melissa Block. All I can say is wow.

Tomorrow, letter L!

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Rose Anderson ~ Love Waits in Unexpected Places

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About ~RoseAnderson

Rose Anderson is an award-winning author and dilettante who loves great conversation and delights in discovering interesting things to weave into stories. Rose also writes under the pen name Madeline Archer.
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7 Responses to The A to Z Challenge – K for Krakatoa

  1. jdfaver says:

    Very interesting, Rose. As always, you made me learn something.

  2. Melissa Keir says:

    Wow. And the preppers aren’t worried about this? They should be! Very scary. I hope nothing like this happens again.

  3. Jenny Twist says:

    Another great post, Rose. We forget how powerful natural forces are and how little control we have over them. Next week I am visiting Santorini, the site of a similar eruption in Mycenean times. It left a whole city preserved by ash, not unlike the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum but much older. It is also, incidentally, the best candidate for the lost city of Atlantis. So excited!

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