416

There’s “lots to offer” in this week’s Carnival of the Vanities, the 416th in the series. This does not mean, of course, that Andrew Ian Dodge is selling real estate: not that kind of “lots,” guys.

Something they tell you in about the twentieth minute of real-estate school is that they’re not making any more land, and therefore it’s a good buy. What they won’t mention is the fact that every so often, land vanishes:

A thundering sound was heard from the mountain Batuwara which was answered by a similar noise from Kapi, lying westward of the modern Bantam. A great glowing fire, which reached the sky, came out of the last-named mountain; the whole world was greatly shaken and violent thundering, accompanied by heavy rain and storms took place, but not only did not this heavy rain extinguish the eruption of the fire of the mountain Kapi, but augmented the fire; the noise was fearful, at last the mountain Kapi with a tremendous roar burst into pieces and sank into the deepest of the earth. The water of the sea rose and inundated the land, the country to the east of the mountain Batuwara, to the mountain Rajabasa, was inundated by the sea; the inhabitants of the northern part of the Sunda country to the mountain Rajabasa were drowned and swept away with all property […] The water subsided but the land on which Kapi stood became sea, and Java and Sumatra were divided into two parts.

This is not the plot of Krakatoa, East of Java. For one thing, Krakatoa is west of Java. It is, however, a description of events in the Pararaton, the Javanese Book of Kings, which supposedly took place in the year AD 416.

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