It’s only natural that we tend to focus on the human side of earthquakes, tsunamis and other disasters when they happen. But sometimes you have to step back and really appreciate the sheer, unfathomable scale of how these events can change the surface of the Earth itself. The world is a volatile place, and we’d do well to not let ourselves forget it.
With that in mind, consider the earth-shattering power of …
In 1883, the island of Krakatoa in the Indian Ocean exploded like a potato in a microwave, except with less delicious Idaho goodness and with more tsunamis. The blast was so powerful that the noise could be heard from more than 2,000 miles away.
Obviously, this did not happen spontaneously — islands don’t randomly explode, or else no one would live on islands. This was the result of a volcanic eruption. Though scientists aren’t sure what made the eruption trigger a full island explosion. One theory is that the lighter magma that usually spews out of a volcano mixed with heavier basaltic lava from below, and the island became the sealed bottle containing volcanic Diet Coke and Mentos.