Saturday, April 13, 2013

Loudest Ever

By Julie Rahm

     Krakatoa is an Indonesian volcanic island located between the islands of Java and Sumatra. In 1883, Krakatoa exploded causing massive tsunamis and killing over 36,400 people. The eruption ejected five cubic miles of debris into the air and destroyed the island. The Krakatoa explosion is considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history. The explosion was heard 3,000 miles from its point of origin. The blast was equivalent to 200 megatons of TNT and 13,000 times the nuclear yield of the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima, Japan during World War II. The Krakatoa explosion was four times more powerful than any nuclear device ever detonated! The explosion cracked one-foot thick concrete 300 miles away and created a 3000-foot tidal wave. Debris fell continuously for 10 days. Shock waves echoed around the earth 36 times and lasted for a month! The sound of the Krakatoa explosion was 180 decibels. For comparison, 180 decibels is 13 times as loud as a jet engine from 100 feet and has enough force to instantly kill all hearing tissue in a human ear.
     One hundred eighty decibels is a huge number. I suspect readers are familiar with the term decibel but don’t fully understand its meaning. The decibel is a logarithmic unit that indicates the ratio of a physical quantity (usually power or intensity) relative to a certain reference level. The decibel originates from methods used to quantify losses in telephone circuit audio levels. These losses were originally measured in units of Miles of Standard Cable (MSC), where one MSC corresponded to power loss over a one-mile length of standard telephone cable. Also, a decibel is one tenth of a “bel”, a seldom-used unit named in honor of Alexander Graham Bell. The decibel is used for a wide variety of measurements in science and engineering. In electronics, the gains of amplifiers, attenuation of signals, and signal-to-noise ratios are often expressed in decibels. The decibel confers a number of advantages, such as the ability to conveniently represent very large or small numbers, and the ability to carry out multiplication of ratios by simple addition and subtraction. But I digress; back to Krakatoa.
     Krakatoa eruptions since 1927 have built a new island at the same location. The new island is named Anak Krakatau, which means "Child of Krakatoa". The new Krakatoa is roughly three miles wide and 1,063 feet high. Periodic eruptions grow the island 16 feet each year.
     So, I tell you about the Krakatoa eruption and decibels in order to tell you this. Happiness requires quiet on the inside. Personal eruptions can be devastating. Similar to Krakatoa, festering internal traumas, memories, and emotions can build up to create tremendous pressures. So, avoid your own personal Krakatoa by understanding the source of the pressure. Use your insight to identify the source. Your insight is always there. It is not something you need to develop. And, when you get the right answer, the pressure subsides. Learn how to apply your insight at If you'd like a free 30-minute insight consultation, send an e-mail request to and put "free consultation request" in the subject line!

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