For some reason I thought I had talked about this before, but when I looked back through my posts I could not find anything. So if I have I apologize, but either way it is pretty interesting to think about.
The above article talks about the volcanic eruption on Krakatoa, which is an island in Indonesia. The dramatic effects of such an eruption are quite bizarre. For instance the actual sound of the explosion, as the article indicates circled the earth four times. The below quote was taken from the above article.
“The Krakatoa explosion registered 172 decibels at 100 miles from the source. This is so astonishingly loud, that it’s inching up against the limits of what we mean by “sound.””
The article mainly focuses on how the actual sound from the explosion can travel around the world and what not, still an interesting read. Also there is a video of a smaller explosion that is really neat. Check it out if you get a chance.
Believe it or not as powerful as that explosion was that is not the most powerful eruption in recorded history, not by a long shot. That crown belongs to the explosion of 1815 by Mount Tambora in Indonesia. By all records this is the most powerful explosion in recorded history. The Krakatoa eruption was more powerful than any nuclear device ever detonated, so you can imagine how powerful the Tambora explosion was.
The most interesting thing about the Tambora explosion is that many scientist believe that the volcano spewed tons and tons of ash and magma that into the atmosphere causing a mini ice age. It was known as the Year Without a Summer, and although there were many other factors that helped cause this dramatic change of climate the volcano cannot be ruled out at a major factor, if not the major factor. The resulting economic food crisis caused riots, revolts, death, and famine in all parts of the world. Some believe that it was the cause of the famous Irish Potato Famine among many other food crises all over the world.
Going back a little further there was one other volcanic explosion that truly helped shape humanity and almost caused our extinction. Around 70,000 to 75,000 year ago Mount Toba in, once again Indonesia, erupted in what is considered the largest known eruption. The results some say cause a 10 year volcanic winter and there is some evidence to suggest that it also was the catalyst in a more than 1,000 year cooling period on Earth. The main reason this is important is because there is also some strong evidence that early humans around this time, because of the sudden climate change, almost went extinct. In fact some scientist speculate that there were only a hand full of reproducing females left. I have heard as few as 12 women left on the planet capable of reproducing, that is almost unfathomable. Those number are just estimates I would highly doubt that was the case but still pretty scary.
You may be thinking that there is no way that is even possible, but here is where it gets interesting. There is something that is known as the Genetic Bottleneck that more or less says that humans are almost all genetically identical and for some reason there is very little genetic diversity in our species. From Wikipedia they claim that a certain part of our DNA can be traced back to a single male and female around 90,000 to 70,000 year ago which is right around the time all this craziness was going on. I will also say that there are some skeptics and other plausible explanations as to the lack of genetic diversity in our genome but it really makes you think about our past and how close we came to extinction.
I don’t know about you but I think we are very lucky to be here…