Krakatoa Facts

Krakatoa, arguably the most famous volcano of all time, whose eruption generated the loudest sound ever recorded and went on to inspire one of the most famous paintings of all time, as well as a Hollywood film.



  • Krakatoa is one of many volcanoes located along an area around the Pacific basin where two huge tectonic plates meet. These two plates, the Indo-Australian and the Eurasian, constantly collide, resulting in much volcanic activity. This area is known by geologists as the Ring of Fire.
  • Krakatoa has erupted repeatedly throughout history, but its place in the record books is due to the series of massive explosions which took place on 26th and 27th August 1883.


  • The actual Indonesian name for the volcano is "Krakatau". It is widely believed that the accepted spelling resulted from a typing error made by the British press when they reported the 1883 eruption.
  • The name Krakatoa does not just refer to the volcano itself, but also the group of islands on which it lives - including the main island, which is also known as Rakata.
  • Theories about origins of the name "Krakatau" include the idea that it is derived from the noise made by the white parrots living on the island. Another theory says it comes from the Sanskrit word "karkata" meaning "lobster" or "crab".
Krakatoa explosion


  • This 1883 eruption generated the loudest sound ever reported in history. It was heard as far away as Perth in Australia (around 1,930 miles away) and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius - a whopping 3,000 miles from Krakatoa!
  • When the volcano erupted, the explosion fired up hot ash 50 miles into the air. The force was about 13,000 times more powerful than the bomb that devastated Hiroshima in 1945.
  • Official records held that 165 villages and towns surrounding Krakatoa were destroyed and 132 more were seriously damaged. Nearly 36,500 people died, and many thousands injured, mostly due to the vast tsunamis which occurred following the explosion.