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Is the Anak Krakatau Volcano About to Blow? (Video)

November 23, 2011 10:00 PM EST

Indonesia's Mount Anak Krakatau volcano has been puffing white smoke the last few days, and scientists are warning locals and tourists to keep away. That could mean that the long suspected eruption of the world's most famous volcano could be imminent.

Actually, this volcano is the remnant of the biggest blast ever recorded on Earth. That was the 1883 eruption of Mount Krakatoa. From the ruins of that gigantic crater left in the land has come forth what is now known as the Anak Krakatau volcano—literally "Krakatoa's Child."

In the time since the original eruption, scientists have gotten much better at predicting when a volcano will have a catastrophic eruption, distinguishing it from the many smaller eruptions which do not harm the local population or environment.

One of the telltale signs is sudden and increased activity like what scientists are seeing in this past week at the Anak Krakatau volcano.

Of course, not wanting to take unnecessary chances, scientists have to balance warning off residents with calling a false alarm. That's why this recent warning is so significant. Seismologists have learned to read the signs to an astonishingly accurate degree and have a tremendous track record for getting it right.

So, the world may be close to once again hearing the loudest sound ever recorded. And this time, the spectacular show will be caught on tape!

Here's a video of the volcano from just a year ago. Another example of the awesome power of nature.

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