Today in History: Krakatau explodes

Today in History August 27

The most powerful volcanic eruption that has been recorded in history happened 132 years ago today, on August 27, 1883 on Krakatau (also called Krakatoa), a small, uninhabited volcanic island in Indonesia.

The explosion could be heard up to 3,000 miles away, and they threw five cubic miles of earth 50 miles up into the air. Ultimately, the explosion resulted in 120-foot tsunamis, and it ended up killing 36,000 people.

While the volcano hadn't shown any activity for quite some time, on May 20, 1883, Krakatau showed its first stirrings in more than 200 years. Residents in the area didn't realize that these stirrings were signs of impending catastrophe, so they welcomes the volcanic activity with excitement.

On August 26 and August 27, the volcano blew itself apart, therefore setting off a chain of natural disasters that left a lasting impact.

Krakatau is still an active volcano, and although this explosion was recorded as the world's biggest, with 130 active volcanoes, Indonesia has the most active volcanos of any country in the world.

See the gallery below for photos of volcanic eruptions:

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