One of the greatest natural disasters of the 19th century was the eruption of a volcano on the island of Krakatoa, Indonesia on August 26, 1883 – which went on to become a global event affecting the nations. This cataclysmic eruption set off multiple tsunamis, destroying more than 150 coastal villages which resulted in an estimated 37,000 deaths.
Moreover, the blast was the loudest noise ever recorded, reaching as far as 3,000 miles away. Theoretically, the eruption would have been heard all the way from Dublin, Ireland. In comparison, the force of the eruption was equivalent to 15,000 nuclear bombs – nearly 10,000 times stronger than the Hiroshima bombing in 1945. According to geologists, the volcano spewed out the volcanic debris at the speed of 1,600 mph which reduced global temperatures by more than 1-degree Celsius.
The shock waves were so powerful that it traveled around the world seven times while bursting the eardrums of British sailors floating 70km away from the eruption site. It was also reportedly heard in Australia and across the Indian Ocean in Mauritius, as the Krakatoa explosion registered 172 decibels at 100 miles from the source. To put this into perspective to demonstrate the tremendous destructive power of this volcanic eruption, the human threshold for pain is 130 decibels while the sound of a jet engine is 150 decibels.