On 27th August 1883 the most terrifying volcanic eruption occurred on the island of Krakatoa, five miles off the western tip of Java.
The island was destroyed and almost 40,000 people were killed. The impact was truly global: ships sailing in the Red Sea were covered in ash; barometers went haywire in Washington; the seas were disturbed in Devon; stunning sunsets burned over London; immense rafts of pumice floated to Africa.
The world shifted, geologically, politically and socially, and the word 'Krakatoa' became embedded in the consciousness of the modern world.
I have just read Simon Winchester's book by the same name and it was absolutely rivetting.