Krakatoa!

Spanish class today was interrupted and curtailed by announcements from the bridge. Which was forgivable because we were passing Krakatoa. How cool is that?! Unfortunately, this meant twenty or more minutes of blathering nonsense from the onboard speaker who twittered inanely over the tannoy system, talking and talking without actually saying anything. Knowing when it exploded (27 August 1883) is all very well and good, but he didn’t seem to know much about it! He mentioned the size of the explosion and how far away it was heard (3000 miles), but I didn’t hear him even mention the nuclear winter that ensued or WHY the eruption was noteworthy. The explosion blew the island apart (which he didn’t mention) and created a new one, called Child of Krakatoa, which is an active volcano that spews out enough gunk to cause it to grow in height by 16 feet a year. That’s a centimetre a day in height. A foot since we set sail. Currently. Right now. As we speak. It’s a foot taller now than when we left England. Wow. How DEEPLY cool is that? Instead he just kept talking about each US warship sunk near here by the Japanese, which although is important to know and appreciate, seemed of limited relevance when we could be talking about a volcanic eruption that caused death and destruction all over the globe. Seriously? Could you not maybe do SOME research before you do this stuff? How hard can it be? You probably only mentioned the thing about the film “Krakatoa: East of Java” being dodgy because Krakatoa is WEST of Java (seriously – did no one in Hollywood get fired for that?!) because the Captain said it last night in his announcement. Most people who have heard of Krakatoa know about the nuclear winter. How can you not, when you’re being PAID to know this kind of stuff?! Really? Crops failed, people starved to death. Hello? Duh? Maybe just one iddy biddy mention of the dust cloud? Blocking out the sun ALL OVER THE FACE OF THE EARTH? For MONTHS? Affecting harvests, tree growth, human and animal health and growth, even the colour of the sky in contemporary paintings? Just one? No? No mention of the dust layer in the tree ring record? In EUROPE? Or in the Arctic ice record? Nope. Just lists of dead Americans. No idea. Not a ruddy clue. *sigh*

 

Anyway, Krakatoa. I’ve seen it. It’s amazing. It just looks like a triangular/ pyramidal island with trees on, but when you know what happened here, it’s awe-inspiring. And very slightly unnerving. After all, we were VERY close… *gulp*

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