What did the volcano do to the island of Krakatoa in 1883?
What happened when the island blew up in one last enormous boom?
How do you think the people felt when they heard the loud boom?
A Volcano's Long, Powerful Reach
More than 130 years ago, in 1883, a group of men sailed to an island called Krakatoa. You can see where the island was on this map.
The men went to Krakatoa to collect wood to build a ship.
As the men were looking around, they heard a loud booming sound. Suddenly, a giant crack opened along the beach, splitting the beach in half. Then black ash and hot rocks flew out of the crack. The men ran for their lives.
The island of Krakatoa had been created by the eruption of an old volcano. The men didn't know it, but Krakatoa was beginning to erupt again. It would turn out to be one of the biggest eruptions in human history.
The End of an Island
For two weeks, ash and smoke came spitting out of the volcano on Krakatoa.
On nearby islands, people heard the volcano boom and crack. But what happened next was even worse. On August 26, 1883, the island volcano blew up in one last enormous boom. Clouds of smoke, fire, and ash blew 24 miles into the air.
For some people living near Krakatoa, the sound was so loud that it burst their eardrums. It was so loud that people heard it almost 3000 miles away. Can you imagine a boom so loud that it could be heard all the way from one side of the United States to the other? That's how far 3000 miles is.
Why was the explosion so loud? People didn't find out the reason until later. The giant boom was the sound of Krakatoa blowing itself into millions of pieces. The eruption was so big that the island disappeared almost completely. Where the big island had been, there was only a small part left. The volcano had destroyed the island that it had created.