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Heard Around the World

The Loudest Known Sound…

Krakatoa, a volcano on Rakata Island in Indonesia, erupted on May 20, 1883, with the greatest force ever seen — or heard — in recorded history. Krakatoa was so loud that for those in close proximity, the sound of the eruption wasn’t a sound at all. That’s because, at 194 decibels, acoustic vibration transforms into the shock wave of a sonic boom. The Krakatoa shock wave was so massive that it circled Earth four times before finally dissipating. For five days, weather stations around the world experienced spikes in pressure every 34 hours — approximately how long it takes for sound to circumnavigate the globe.

With the speed of sound at around 767 miles per hour, Krakatoa’s blast took four hours to reach the distant island of Rodrigues (near Mauritius), roughly 3,000 miles away. This would be like people in New York hearing something that happened in California. Residents of islands in the Bay of Bengal, 1,300 miles away, reported hearing a series of blasts “resembling artillery.” Even farther away, reports from islands in the western Indian Ocean recorded a “distant roar of heavy guns.”

At an estimated 310 decibels, the eruption of Krakatoa is the loudest sound ever recorded in human history. It delivered the equivalent force of a 200-megaton bomb — four times more powerful than the largest-ever thermonuclear bomb.

The ash that spewed into the Earth’s atmosphere filtered the light of the sun and moon for nearly two years, inspiring the phrase ‘blue moon.’

A massive volcanic eruption in 1815 created a “year without summer.”

Krakatoa wasn’t the only globe-spanning eruption that took place in the 19th century. In April 1815, Mount Tambora, located on Sumbawa Island, Indonesia, spewed ash 36 miles into the air, reaching the stratosphere. As this ash, made of sulfur dioxide, circled the globe, it combined with water and formed sulfuric acid. It blocked sunlight, causing global temperatures to fall by 7 degrees Fahrenheit. This led to what’s known as “the year without summer.” In the U.S., it was so unseasonably cold that rivers and lakes as far south as Pennsylvania remained frozen in July.

These extraordinary cooling events were so significant that they must be taken into account even today when calculating the degree of actual warming that the planet has experienced.

The Loudest Sound is Still to Come

It's awesome to consider that, even as gigantic and far-reaching as these events were, they will not be the loudest or most visible events in world history. Those events are still to come.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 ASV

This cry and trumpet blast will literally wake the dead. There won’t be a square inch of the planet, on land or sea, that does not hear it.

Similarly, Christ’s triumphant return at Armageddon will be seen worldwide…

“Behold, He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the land will wail because of Him. Yes! Amen!” Revelation 1:7 ASV

There won’t be anyone excluded because every knee will bow.

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