Over 135 years ago, it is believed that the loudest sound ever heard on earth was experienced. This sound was produced by the eruption of the Krakotoa volcano, found on the Lampung province of Indonesia. The eruption was so loud that the eardrums of people 40 miles away were ruptured. In addition, it was reported to have been heard by residents of Rodrigues Island, near Mauritius, more than 3,000 miles away!

For perspective, O’Neill Engineered Systems Inc. is located in Hartland, Wisconsin. Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, is roughly 27 miles away. If the 1883 Krakatoa eruption had somehow happened in Hartland, people throughout the Milwaukee metro region would have been at risk of ruptured eardrums. Even more remarkably, people as far west as Alaska and as far east as Ireland might’ve heard the sound.

Although the wave of pressure past 3,000 miles grew too quiet for humans, instruments reported reverberations for days. Sound pressure this violent was capable of destroying the entire island of Krakotoa and everything in its path.

Lighthearted Loudest Sound Records

To switch the mood a little bit, we looked into a handful of the loudest random records via the Guinness World Records. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • The loudest clap recorded measured at 113 dBA by Alastair Galpin out of New Zealand in 2008.
  • The loudest whistle recorded measured at 125 dBA by Luca Zocchi out of Italy in 2014.
  • The loudest snoring recorded measured at 93 dBA by Kare Walkert out of Sweden in 1993.
  • The loudest cat purr by a domestic cat recorded measured at 67.8 dBA by Merlin (owned by Tracy Westwood) out of the United Kingdom in 2015.
  • The loudest bark by a dog recorded measured at 113.1 dBA by a golden retriever named Charlie (owned by Belinda Freebairn) out of Australia in 2012.
  • The loudest crunch of an apple recorded measured at 84.6 dBA by Felix Michels out of Germany in 2017.
  • The loudest whip crack recorded measured at 148.7 dBA by Adam Winrich out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA in 2017.
  • The loudest click of the tongue recorded measured at 114.2 dBA by Kunal Jain out of Canada in 2003.
  • The loudest siren recorded measured at 138 dBA from 100ft. by Chrysler out of the United States in 1952.
  • The loudest crack of finger knuckles recorded measured at 83.2 dBA by Miguel Angel Molano out of Spain in 2012.