Indonesia: 3 volcanic eruptions that changed forever the worldBlog
With 130 active volcanoes, Indonesia has the highest volcanic activities of any country in the world. More than 75% of Indonesian residents live within 100km of a volcano.
While the volcanic activity of the country nowadays is part of the daily lives of Indonesians and attracts tourists from all over the world, three major eruptions in earlier times in Indonesia forever changed the face of the whole world.
The volcano is known for its explosion on August 27, 1883, one of the most violent ever documented, which killed 36,000 people and created a tsunami whose waves were still noticeable when they reached Europe. The explosion is considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with rumors of it being heard up to 5,000km from its eruption point. This disaster significantly inspired many works of literature, film, television, and music.
An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa.
1815: Mount Tambora
This is the most powerful volcanic eruption in documented history. Its power is estimated to be more than ten thousand times the strength of the bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. The eruption directly killed 11,000 people. Including the tsunamis, famine, and epidemics that followed on Sumbawa and Lombok, the eruption is believed to have killed between 60,000 and 70,000 people.
Ashes sent into the stratosphere traveled around the Earth several times, resulting in what farmers in Europe and North America that year called the year without summer. Crops failed and herds faced an unusual mortality rate in most of the northern European countries, causing one of the worst famines of the 19th century.
Aerial view of the caldera of Mt Tambora at the island of Sumbawa (Photo: Jialang Gao)
77,000 years ago: Lake Toba
The explosive eruption of the super volcano Toba is one the largest volcanic episodes ever recorded on our planet. The theory of the Toba catastrophe claims that this event caused a volcanic winter that lasted from 6 to 10 years with a worldwide decrease in temperature between 3 to 5 °C and up to 15 °C in higher latitudes, followed by a global cooling that extended over approximately a millennium.
Scientists suggested that this episode caused an extremely sharp reduction in the world’s human population, which affected the gene pool of the human race.
Lake Toba featured in 1,000-rupiah banknote
These catastrophes are way behind us, and nowadays, Indonesia is attracting a growing number of tourists who are looking to explore the scenery created by centuries of volcanic activity.
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