As 2012 approaches, I guarantee you will be in more than one conversation involving the end of days. You will talk about maybe a gigantic meteor crashing into the earth and causing massive tidal waves. Maybe you will discuss the possibility of nuclear warfare ending the world. If the world is to end, the one way I don’t want it to happen is by the eruption of Super Volcanoes. I’m talking full-scale eruptions, eruptions with all the volcanoes energy behind it. Here are five Super Volcanoes that could do some serious damage to the Earth as we know it.
The beauty of Yellowstone National Park is like no other. I have been there once and really enjoyed it. During the time I visited Yellowstone National Park, I was totally unaware of the sleeping catastrophe in waiting that lies beneath. The Yellowstone Caldera a.k.a., the Yellowstone Super Volcano, is one of the biggest super volcanoes in the world. This super volcano covers a span of 34 miles by 45 miles and has a magma chamber that is 55 miles wide! If this volcano erupted full-scale, it would cause millions of deaths in the region and could cause a global climate change. 640,000 years ago this volcano erupted and ash covered almost all of the North American continent. Imagine the type of impact that would have today. Now, when you look at Old Faithful, beware what lies beneath.
Located in Colorado, this volcano’s biggest eruption occurred 28.7 million years ago is widely considered THE largest and most explosive eruption ever. The eruption included over 1200 cubic miles of volcanic material which is enough to overflow Lake Michigan. The magma spewed from this explosion was double that of the largest Yellowstone eruption. It has been estimated that this eruption was 4,000 times larger than the eruption of Mt. St. Helena. I have family in Oklahoma so I hope this volcano doesn’t have any plans of rearing it’s head anytime soon.
The Long Valley Caldera is in Mono County, California and spans 20×11 miles. It’s last eruption was 730,000 years ago and it covered almost all of the Western half of the U.S., from what is now known as Oklahoma all the way to the California coast…Ouch! If that were to happen now, the U.S. and the world as we know it would change forever. Can you imagine California, our most populous state, wiped out by a volcano? Say goodbye to Hollywood.
The Toba Caldera is known to have had one of the larges eruptions ever. Between 69,000 and 77,000 years ago in Sumatra, Indonesia, a very violent eruption occurred. Ash was spread over the entire Indian continent, a lot of Asia, and throughout the Indian Ocean. It is believed that immediately following the eruption, the Earth experienced a 6-10 year Volcanic winter which attributed to dwindling the population of the human race to below 10,00 people. Think of the effects of a full-scale eruption of that volcano today, India is one of the most populated continents and there would be no more Indonesia. Scary stuff!
The Taupo Volcano located in New Zealand is given credit for the most violent eruption in the last 5000 years. That eruption was nothing compared to the early eruptions of the volcanoes mentioned above. According to Dr. Gill Jolly of Geological and Nuclear Science, if Taupo erupted today the Earth would experience “huge ground deformations and thousands of earthquakes, not hundreds.”
The scary thing about volcanoes is that even though they are closely monitored on a daily basis, they can go off at any minute….without warning!