Krakatau was selected as a Featured Work by the group Wall of the World in June 2010.
“The great volcano on the island of Krakatoa (sometimes spelled as Krakatau or Krakatowa) loomed over the Sunda Strait, between the islands of Java and Sumatra in present day Indonesia.
Before the 1883 eruption, the volcanic mountain reached a height of approximately 2,600 feet above sea level. The slopes of the mountain were covered with green vegetation, and it was a notable landmark to sailors passing through the straits.
In the years preceding the massive eruption several earthquakes occurred in the area. And in June 1883 small volcanic eruptions began to rumble across the island. Throughout the summer the volcanic activity increased, and tides at islands in the area began to be affected.
The activity kept accelerating, and finally, on August 27, 1883, four massive eruptions came from the volcano. The final colossal explosion destroyed two-thirds of the island of Krakatoa, essentially blasting it into dust.
Sailors on ships in nearby sea lanes reported astounding events associated with the volcanic eruption. The sound was loud enough to break the eardrums of some crewmen on ships many miles away. And pumice, or chunks of solidified lava, rained from the sky, pelting the ocean and the decks of ships.
The tsunamis set off by the volcanic eruption rose as high as 120 feet, and slammed into the coastlines of the inhabited islands of Java and Sumatra. Entire settlements were wiped away, and it is estimated that 36,000 people died.
The sound of the massive volcanic eruption traveled enormous distances across the ocean. At the British outpost on Diego Garcia, an island in the Indian Ocean more than 2,000 miles from Krakatoa, the sound was clearly heard. People in Australia also reported hearing the explosion. It is likely that Krakatoa created the loudest sound on earth.
Pieces of pumice were light enough to float, and weeks after the eruption large pieces began drifting in with the tides along the coast of Madagascar, an island off the east coast of Africa. Some of the large pieces of volcanic rock had animal and human skeletons embedded in them. They were grisly relics of Krakatoa.
Following the eruption of the volcano, the area near Krakatoa was enveloped in a strange darkness, as dust and particles blasted into the atmosphere blocked sunlight. And as winds in the upper atmosphere carried the dust great distances, people on the other side of the world began to notice the effect.
According to a report in the Atlantic Monthly magazine published in 1884, some sea captains had reported seeing sunrises that were green, with the sun remaining green throughout the day. And sunsets around the world turned a vivid red in the months following the Krakatoa eruption. The vividness of the sunsets continued for nearly three years.
The volcanic dust thrown into the atmosphere affected the weather around the world, and people as far away as Britain and the United States saw bizarre red sunsets caused by particles in the atmosphere. American newspaper articles in late 1883 and early 1884 speculated on the cause of the widespread phenomenon of “blood red” sunsets. But scientists today know that dust from Krakatoa blown into the high atmosphere was the cause."
Macro taken from an exterior wall of a music store in downtown Tucson, Arizona by JD Brummer for As Eye See Photography.