On this date in 1883, a small island in the Indian Ocean obliterated itself in one of the most notorious volcanic eruptions in history. The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) began on August 26, 1883 (with origins as early as May of that year) and culminated with several destructive eruptions of the remaining caldera. On August 27, two thirds of Krakatoa collapsed in a chain of titanic explosions, destroying most of the island and its surrounding archipelago. Additional alleged seismic activity continued to be reported until February 1884, though reports of those after October 1883 were later dismissed by Rogier Verbeek’s investigation. It was one of the deadliest and most destructive volcanic events in recorded history, with at least 36,417 deaths being attributed to the eruption itself and the tsunamis it created. Significant additional effects were also felt around the world.
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