25 Cataclysmic Facts About Volcanoes You Should Know

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1Mount St. Helens eruption

Mount St. Helens eruption

When Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, the blast was heard in British Columbia, Montana, Idaho, and California. However, the blast was not heard in Portland, Oregon which is located only 50 miles away from the eruption.

2. Concerns are increasing that Campi Flegrei, a "supervolcano" very close to the Italian city of Naples could erupt again for the first time since 1538. Previous eruptions have triggered volcanic winters globally, causing widespread crop failures and resulting in famines.

3. The deadliest volcanic eruption in recorded history is the 1783 eruption of the Laki Volcano in Iceland. It killed 25% of the Icelandic population, at least 23,000 people in Britain, more deaths in Europe, freak weather for a year, and may have caused a famine in Egypt which killed 1/6th of the Egypt’s population.

4. In 1985, the Nevado del Ruiz Volcano in Colombia, which was covered in glaciers erupted, instantly melting its glaciers. Two hours later, a 100 feet high wave of rock and water traveling 39 feet per second leveled an entire nearby village, killing 20,000 out of its 29,000 residents.

5. Suicide by the volcano is an actual thing. More than 2000 people have committed suicide by leaping into the crater of Mount Mihara in Japan. Authorities eventually erected a fence to curb the number of suicides.

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6Tamu Massif

Tamu Massif

The largest volcano on Earth is the Tamu Massif volcano located at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. It has a surface area the same as New Mexico making it one of the largest volcanoes in the Solar System.

7. You can snowboard down the active Cerro Negro volcano in Nicaragua on its volcanic ash.

8. There is a volcano in Arizona that bears the name "Sh*t Pot Crater," so named because it resembles a "toilet catastrophe."

9. About 30,000 people were killed during the 1902 Mount Pelee eruption in one of the Caribbean Islands because its governor refused to evacuate people until after Election Day. The right-wing government was worried about a possible socialist victory and refused to let anyone leave until after the election on May 11th. It erupted on May 8th.

10. The magma chamber of Thrihnukagigur Volcano in Iceland is the only magma chamber in the world to have ever been explored by humans.

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There is a rare type of lava called Natrocarbonatite, which erupts from the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano in Tanzania. It's so cold it glows only at night. It's black, but within hours turns white.

12. The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonseia led to an unreasonably cool summer in 1816, which led to an 800% rise in oat prices, which led a German inventor to create the predecessor to what we now call a bicycle.

13. When Mount Etna erupted in 1669, the city of Catania was largely protected from the lava flows by the city walls, which diverted them into the port.

14. The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the 2nd largest eruption of the 20th century, injected large amounts of aerosols and dust into the stratosphere, reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface by 10%. It ultimately lowered temperatures worldwide by 0.7° F.

15. The heat from the Vesuvius eruption in 79 A.D. was so intense that the skulls of those caught in it literally exploded by the pressure of vaporizing brain tissue and boiling blood.

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16Eyjafjallajökull volcano

Eyjafjallajökull volcano

Eyjafjallajökull, the Icelandic volcano that erupted in 2010, is carbon neutral due to its disruption of air travel in Europe.

17. The peak of Mount Fuji is a privately owned land and the whole mountain used to be owned by a person named Ieyasu Tokugawa.

18. Continuously erupting volcanoes are referred to as Strombolian eruptions. Mount Stromboli itself has been erupting continuously for over 2,000 years.

19. The Kilauea Volcano in the Hawaiian Islands has been continuously spewing lava since 1983. It is one of the longest volcanic eruptions on Earth.

20. Mount Erebus in Antarctica, the southernmost active volcano in the world, has created a lake of molten lava in the middle of a lake of frozen water.

21Asphalt volcano

Asphalt volcano

There is a type of undersea volcano named Asphalt volcano that does not spew lava but instead spews pure asphalt.

22. In December 2014 an underwater volcano erupted leading to the creation of a new island. Typically these types of islands don't survive more than a few months, but this one has persisted and is now connected to an older neighboring island.

23. In 1935 when Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano erupted and threatened the town of Hilo, the US Army Air Corps attempted to divert the oncoming lava flows with bombing runs planned by George S. Patton (then a Lt. Colonel).

24. The supervolcanic eruption of Lake Ilopango in El Salvador in 536 A.D. devastated the Mayan empire and started the slowing of Mayan progress which lasted 30 years because ash lingered in the atmosphere for 18 months, resulting in cold years and drought. This theory disputes older theories of Mayan decline of civilization and deforestation.

25. During the colonial times, people thought that the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua was a gate to hell. They believed a witch lived in the volcano guarding it. To stop frequent eruptions they sacrificed the prettiest girl in the town by throwing her in it.

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