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Bright orange lava spews up into the air, dark smoke mingles with the clouds and the gloomy night takes on an ominous red glow.Towering 1,200ft above the tropical stillness of the Sunda Strait in Indonesia, one of the most terrifying volcanoes the world has ever known has begun to stir once more. Almost 126 years to the day since Krakatoa first showed signs of an imminent eruption, stunning pictures released this week prove that the remnant of this once-enormous volcano is bubbling, boiling and brimming over. Krakatau, a small island group in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Sumatra and Java is one of the world's most famous volcanoes. It is a mostly submerged caldera with 3 outer islands belonging to the rim and a new cone, Anak Krakatau, that has been forming a new island since 1927 and remains highly active. Krakatau exploded spectacularly in a devastating Plinian eruption 1883 that killed more than 30,000 people (mostly by the huge tsunamis triggered by the eruption). The eruption was one of the first global news events after telegraph lines had connected the different continents.

The renowned volcano Krakatau (or Krakatoa) lies in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Collapse of the ancestral Krakatau edifice, perhaps in 416 AD, formed a 7-km-wide caldera. Remnants of this ancestral volcano are preserved in Verlaten and Lang Islands; subsequently Rakata, Danan and Perbuwatan volcanoes were formed, coalescing to create the pre-1883 Krakatau Island. Caldera collapse during the catastrophic 1883 eruption destroyed Danan and Perbuwatan volcanoes, and left only a remnant of Rakata volcano. This eruption, the 2nd largest in Indonesia during historical time, caused more than 36,000 fatalities, most as a result of devastating tsunamis that swept the adjacent coastlines of Sumatra and Java. Pyroclastic surges traveled 40 km across the Sunda Strait and reached the Sumatra coast. After a quiescence of less than a half century, the post-collapse cone of Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatau) was constructed within the 1883 caldera at a point between the former cones of Danan and Perbuwatan. Anak Krakatau has been the site of frequent eruptions since 1927.

Today as you stand on the shores of the Sunda strait you will see rising out of the water the Child of Krakatau, Anak Krakatau. This ever growing volcano is taking on a life of its own and growing at a constant rate. All this rich volcanic soil has brought new life around this sleeping giant. There are well over 400 species of flora and fauna and a wide selection of insects and small animals that now call this fire breathing island home. There are over 50 species of butterflies, 30 species of birds, almost 20 species of bat and 10 species of reptiles.

When you arrive on the island you have to make your way up the black sands and steep slopes, trekking your way to the top. It is an amazing journey and there is a real sense of achievement in reaching the crater rim. However these trips depend on the beast itself, when your guide says it is not a good idea to venture closer take their word on it. The water is clear and inviting, those of you who enjoy diving are in for a treat as the underwater lava formation has produced a rugged landscape that a rich variety of coral has taken over. This plus the higher temperature of the water have caused this to be melting pot for marine diversity and metamorphosis.