We don’t really think about volcanoes until they directly effect us. Remember when flights in Europe were grounded for days in 2010 after Eyjafjallajokull erupted? Truth is, 50-70 volanoes erupt every year and these are some of the world’s most active.
There are three types of volcanoes: active, extinct and dormant. What makes a volcano active? Well, as long as it has erupted at some point in the last 10,000 years it’s considered active and could erupt again soon. Once a volcano has run out of lava in the magma chamber underneath it, it’s considered extinct. There’s around 1,500 active volcanoes in the world and most of them are located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire.” These are just a few of the world’s most famous volcanoes that are very active and very ready to erupt again!
Mount Etna – Italy
Planning a holiday in Italy this year? Take swing by Mount Etna, the home of the Greek god Vulcan — god of fire. According to mythology, when Mount Etna erupted it meant Vulcan was forging weapons for the god of war, Mars. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe and one of the world’s most active since it’s been spewing lava continuously for 3,500+ years. You’ll find this mighty mount on the eastern coast of Sicily, surrounded by orchards and vineyards.
Last recorded eruption: January 2011
Mount St. Helen’s – USA
Mount St. Helens is likely one of the most famous volcanoes in the world after its legendary eruption on May 18th in 1980. The eruption killed 57 people and destroyed 200 square miles of forest in the American Pacific Northwest. Interesting fact? The USA is the second most volcanic country, after Russia, with 169 active volcanoes.
Last recorded eruption: March 2005
Kilauea Volcano – Hawaii
Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It’s been constantly erupting since 1983 and is a popular stop for those visiting Hawaii’s islands. Kilauea is, after all, the reason the Hawaiian archipelago exists! She’s big and she’s still growing with every eruption. In the 20th century alone, Kilauea erupted 45 times!
Last recorded eruption: March 2011
Piton de la Fournaise – La Reunion Island
Nicknamed the “Peak of the Furnace,” this shield volcano on Reunion Island’s eastern side has a whole lot of kick to it! It stands an impressive 2,600+ metres tall with dozens of craters and cinder cones inside and around its outer flanks. Since the 17th century, Piton de la Fournaise has erupted 150 times.
Last recorded eruption: October 2010
Have you ever seen a volcano erupt? Where was it?
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