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It was caused by a record-breaking volcanic eruption on the island of Krakatoa, that was so loud that “[s]hock waves from the eruption travelled around the world several times, and created a tsunami over 45 metres tall” and it “shattered eardrums more than 50 km away.”

ScienceAlert adds that “the force of the blast was 10,000 times that of a hydrogen bomb” and the decibel level reached 172, which had to be unbearably punishing since the pain threshold is 130 dB and the decibel scale is logarithmic.

It’s obviously hard to protect yourself against this sort of event, which happened over 125 years ago, but the reports of the world’s loudest known noise is instructive: noise is destructive.

Originally posted at Silencity.com.