The Toba Eruption, c. 71,000 BC

The eruption of Pinatubo in the Philippines, 12 June 1991, the largest volcanic eruption since 1912. The Toba eruption 73,000 years ago would have looked rather similar, only very much larger: while Pinatubo erupted 4 cu. km of ash, Toba produced at least 800 cu. km. [Photo courtesy United States Geological Survey (USGS), photographer D. Harlow]


1. Introduction

2. The Sleeping Giant describes the site of the ancient Toba eruption on Sumatra, Indonesia, as it looks today

3. The Big One: Toba Explodes describes the earth’s biggest volcanic eruption of the last 28 million years,with notes on the fate of the Andaman and Nicobar islands and Mentawei island

4. Aftermath: Climate and Environment marshals the evidence for a volcanic winter with following ice age

5. Through the Bottleneck and Human evolution describes how our ancestors and some near-relatives walked into a genetic bottleneck and how a few of them came out alive, despite the odds

6. Acknowledgments

7. References