Scientific Aspects of the Java Catastrophe


    CAUTION and scepticism, which are necessary to the student of every branch of natural science, ought to be the especial attributes of the vulcanologist and seismologist. No other natural phenomena so strikingly affect the imagination or so powerfully excite the fancy as do the volcanic outburst and the earthquake. These catastrophes usually occur too with such startling suddenness and with such an entire absence of warning that the witnesses are not unnaturally paralysed by fear and terror. Under such circumstances the wildest and most improbable stories are received and circulated with easy credence, and no attempt is made to separate the real from the imaginary.

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    Scientific Aspects of the Java Catastrophe . Nature 28, 457–458 (1883).

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