The volcano is one of the world’s most powerful instruments of creation and destruction. It is a place where the Earth can vent pressure, molten rock, or stored up gasses so that the inner workings of the planet can remain stable. There are hundreds of volcanoes around the world, but most of them run along the major fault lines of the tectonic plates. Some, like the Yellowstone Cauldera, are so massive that their eruption would threaten the survival of many.
Volcanoes have some interesting facts about them that goes beyond the flow of lava or the explosion of ash that may occur. Here is a look at some of the most interesting tidbits of information.
1. There’s a 20 Mile Radius of Immediate Danger
Because the core of a volcano opens downward into a pool of molten rock, an eruption of a volcano is a dangerous event. Even with modern warning systems, the danger area of any volcano is within 20 miles of it. This is because an eruption has enough pressure to it that hot rocks can fly for miles and falling ash and floods can decimate the surrounding area. Keep in mind that this is an average radius. A bigger volcano that gets angry requires more space.
2. The Most Active Volcano Isn’t In Hawaii
Mount Kilauea might get the reputation for being the volcano that is the most active with its very consistent lava flows, but it isn’t actually the most active. That distinction goes to Stromboli Volcano, which is just off of the coast of Sicily. About 500 people live on the volcano and it stands nearly 9,000 feet tall. It’s so old that the name was given to it by the Ancient Greeks.
3. Did You Hear That?
The loudest explosion ever heard by human ears on the planet happened in 1883. More than 6 cubic miles of rock were brought up by the volcano when it exploded and the sound was heard more than 3,000 miles away. More than 30,000 people were killed in the explosion and tsunamis that occurred afterward and 67% of the mountain ended up disappearing into thin air.
4. That’s a Big Volcano
The world’s tallest volcano stands more than 22,000 feet tall. Llullaillaco stands as 22,109 feet and has erupted in 1877. Uit stands on the border of Chile and Argentina, creating one of the borders of the Atacama Desert, which is one of the driest places in the world today. A slightly taller volcano in the same area, Ojos del Salado, is 400 feet taller and listed as active, but it as never erupted. In total, all of the 10 largest active volcanoes on the planet are all taller than 20,000 feet and all of them are in South America.
5. Do You Live in the Ring of Fire?
The Pacific Ocean is bordered on all sides by continental plates. This means that they are active volcanoes that completely encircle the large body of water. Of the 500+ active volcanoes that are known in the world today, more than 50% of them are located in this Ring of Fire.