Krakatoa is a volcanic island famous for the catastrophic eruption that occurred there in 1883. The island's volcanoes rumbled for several months before finally exploding in late August of that year.Continue Reading
Krakatoa held three volcanoes: Perboewatan, Danan and Rakata. On Aug. 26, 1883, Perboewatan erupted, spewing debris 15 miles into the air. The next day, four explosions occurred so violently that Perboewatan and Danan sank into the Sunda Strait. When water from the strait hit the magma, the water flash-boiled and resulted in flows of boiling mud that rushed down the sides of what remained of the mountains at 62 miles per hour.
Volcanic gas suffocated many people living in western Java and Sumatra, but a 120-foot tall tsunami that resulted from the collapse of the volcanoes killed tens of thousands more, swallowed smaller islands and destroyed seafaring vessels. The debris ejected from the volcano darkened the sky, filled the atmosphere with greenhouse gases and caused a global cooling that lasted for five years. It also resulted in sunsets in the United States and Europe that appeared unusually vivid. Some believe Edvard Munch's famous painting "The Scream" depicted one of these sunsets.
In 1927, another volcanic peak rose from the submerged caldera. It was named Anak Krakatoa, or Child of Krakatoa. It remains volcanically active as of 2015, though its eruptions are small.Learn more about Volcanoes