Tuesday, November 20, 2018

That Was Loud! – So Loud it Circled the Globe 4 Times

May 15, 2017

On August 27, 1883 at 10:02 a noise was triggered. It was a sound louder than anything modern humans had heard before or have heard since.

A Volcano on the island of Krakatoa in Indonesia erupted so massively it literally tore the island apart. The sound of the eruption was so loud that it ruptured the ear drums of sailors 40 miles away.

Over two and a half hours later the sound was heard in Western Australia (2,000 miles away). Nearly 4 hours after the initial eruption, sounds of distant gunfire were heard on the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues (3,000 miles away). That’s insane!

After the sound travelled about 3,000 miles it was no longer detectable to human ears. However, weather stations across the globe continued to track changes in air pressure from the eruption for the next 5 days.

These weather stations in over 50 cities observed the spike in air pressure approximately every 34 hours (how long it takes for sound to travel around the earth). In all, the pressure waves from the eruption circled the globe 3 to 4 times in each direction.

To get an idea of what this was like, here’s a YouTube video of a volcanic eruption taken by a couple on vacation in Papua New Guinea. When the volcano erupts, you can literally see the sudden spike in air pressure. The pressure wave finally hits the couple on the boat 13 seconds after the explosion.

If we multiply the 13 seconds by the speed of sound, this tells us that the couple was 2.7 miles away from the volcano. This is similar to what happened in Krakatoa but the blast was heard for 3,000 miles instead of three.

Pretty crazy huh?! I find this stuff so awesome!

Have you ever experienced breaking the sound barrier or seen a shock wave like that? If you have, please tell me about it!


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