Krakatoa is a volcanic island in Indonesia that dramatically exploded in 1883.
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As huge as the 1883 explosion was, it was dwarfed by an earlier 535 A.D. eruption that was so huge that the emissions into the atmosphere caused such serious climatic disruptions that historians have known for centuries that a cataclysmic event somewhere had occurred. Worldwide records from cultures all over the world describe the same thing:
The sun dimmed for 18 months which caused famines that toppled governments and upset the status quo.
The "birth of the Dark Ages" began in 540A.D., when tree rings show that a global event occurred that stopped the trees from growing. The Gauls and the Chinese recorded fiery skies & the sun only shone 4 hours a day for over a year. The resultant Justinian Plague ensued and thwarted the reunification of the Roman Empire. The plague weakened the Byzantine Empire at a critical point, when Justinian's armies had nearly wholly retaken Italy and the western Mediterranean coast. This evolving conquest could have credibly reformed the Western Roman Empire and united it with the Eastern under a single emperor for the first time since the year 395.
540 A.D. Comet: