Krakatoa is a volcanic island that forms part of the chain of islands that bears the same time. The island itself is in the country of Indonesia, and was the site of one of the best-known volcanic events in history. Beginning on 26 August 1883, the volcano erupted in a series of violent explosions that sent roughly 5 cubic miles (21 cubic km) of ash and volcanic material into the atmosphere. The final explosion was said to be the largest, and was heard as far away as the western edge of Australia, over 1,900 miles (3,100 km) away, and the island of Rodrigues, nearly 3,000 miles (5,000 km) from the eruption site.
The eruption of the main volcano on Krakatoa was so powerful that more than two-thirds of the island was destroyed. This was not just the destruction of animal or plant life; the island was literally wiped off the map and into the ocean by the force. Hundreds of nearby villages and towns were damaged or destroyed, and the death toll was officially placed at more than 36,000.
Most of the documented destruction was as a result of the tsunamis created by the sudden displacement of so much of the island into the ocean. One notable measure of the power of these tsunamis was the final resting place of a steamship caught in the destructive force of these waters. This ship, The Berouw, was carried over 1 mile (1.6 km) inland, resulting in the death of more than two dozen crew members.
In the months and years following the famous eruption, unusual atmospheric phenomena were visible, produced as a result of the airborne volcanic matter. Sunsets in many parts of the world were extraordinarily bright and colorful for the same reason. The time period in which the eruption took place means that little to no photographic evidence of these events exists, but many artists attempted to capture them in paintings and other works.
The Krakatoa volcano was relatively quiet for a few decades following the 1883 eruption. Early in the 20th century, however, it began to erupt again. Since these eruptions happened underwater, they had the effect of creating a new island in the place where the old one used to be. By the middle of the 20th century, this island was visible from high in the air, and has continued to grow in height at the rate of about 16 feet (5 meters) per year. The new island is called Anak Krakatau, which means "child of Krakatoa" in the local dialect.