Truth or Blarney: Marylanders Could See Effects of the Krakatoa Eruption all the way from Indonesia

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It seems unlikely if you understand that Krakatoa was just about as far away from Maryland as it could be. The antipode of the Krakatoa volcano is about one hundred miles northwest of Bogota, Columbia. That’s not exactly in the neighborhood of the eastern U.S., but it’s only the distance of a cross-country trip to Los Angeles, which is a shrug-worthy journey. My point is that while Krakatoa could have been a wee bit further away from Maryland, it was pretty damned close to the other side of the world.scream

Even with the vast distance taken into account, the Krakatoa eruption of 1883 was mindbogglingly powerful. It was 10,000 times more explosive than the Hiroshima bomb. Shock waves circled the earth multiple times. The people in the area who were not washed away in the massive waves were left in darkness for days, with hot ash and pumice raining on them. People as far away as Australia and India heard the explosion and while it’s not officially recorded, I’m sure that dogs and cats were extremely nervous everywhere.

The ash thrown into the atmosphere, along with plumes of steam and other Earth guts, caused the entire globe to cool for a few years. While witnesses reported green sunrises nearby, descriptions of wild and vivid red sunsets can be found in U.S. newspapers of the era, even though the causation of the volcano wasn’t acknowledged most of the time.

The atmospheric effects of Krakatoa were captured in art too. In Oslo, the terrifying sky inspired “The Scream” and other paintings of the era.

How do volcanoes enliven sunsets? I am not qualified to science, but fortunately other people are. Particles do things to light and it’s pretty, even if it’s pretty deadly.

I once read a really good book about Krakatoa. When your grandpa is a geologist, these things catch your fancy. Check out Simon Winchester for more.

Read things; don’t explode.


Further, further reading:

My novel is available in paperback now right here: on amazon. I’m sponsoring an Official Typo Hunt. If you find one, email me the location and if you’re the first spotter, I’ll send you a gift card to cover the cost of the book!! Undertakers&Harlots-Web

Of course, the electronic version is instant gratification and has a forty-page free preview if you click on the look inside doohickey, which looks like this:  look inside

Happy reading!! I look forward to hearing from you!!

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