Mind-blowing Volcano Facts That are All Shades of Awesome

Volcano Facts
Did you know that the term volcano is derived from 'Vulcan', the Roman god of fire. If you want to know more of such facts about volcanoes, read through the following write-up.
A volcano is a vent on the Earth's crust, through which hot and molten rock―also known as lava or magma―comes out. Volcanoes are usually found in places where the tectonic plates are constantly moving. It begins as small vent and as the lava cools down and solidifies, it forms a cone around the vent. Though the frequency of eruptions, size, and shape differ from one volcano to another, they do contribute to the shape of this geological feature.

A volcanic eruption occurs when the pressure created by the currents of tectonic movement reaches a point where it needs to be released. This pressure erupts in the form of a volcano throwing up debris of hot molten rock, ash, and thick smoke. They can also be caused due to hotspots or mantle plumes. These volcanoes are called hotspot volcanoes, and are also found on other planets of the solar system.

Interesting Facts about Volcanoes

Basically, there are three types of volcanoes: active, dormant, and extinct. Active volcanoes are those that have erupted recently and are likely to erupt again. Dormant are the ones that have not erupted for a long period, but could erupt again. Extinct volcanoes are those that have not erupted for a long time and will not erupt in the future. Extinct volcanoes are also referred to as 'dead volcanoes'.

Volcanoes are not restricted to the Earth's surface, but also occur underwater. There are several underwater volcanoes that are active today. These volcanoes don't just form new islands, but are also notorious for triggering tsunamis.

» The branch of geology which deals with the study of volcanoes is known as volcanology and the person who studies volcanic activity is called a volcanologist.

» More than 80 percent of the Earth's surface has been formed due to volcanic eruptions. Igneous rocks, one of the oldest and hardest rocks on the planet, are formed when the hot magma from the volcano cools down.

» More than 1,500 active volcanoes in the world have erupted in the past 10,000 years.

» Mauna Loa is the biggest volcano in the world and is situated in the Hawaii islands. It is found at 13,000 feet above sea level.

» Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in the continent of Europe, is approximately 350,000 years old, which makes it the oldest volcano.

» The highest volcano in the world is Ojos del Salado in Chile, which is located at the height of 6.887 meters (approximately 22,589 feet) above sea level.

» Mount Vesuvius, located on the coast of the Bay of Naples in Europe, is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. Its eruption in 79 AD killed around 20,000 to 25,000 people, and destroyed two major European cities, Herculaneum and Pompeii.

» Mount Fujisan (Mt. Fuji)―one of the world famous volcanoes and Japan's highest and sacred mountain―is a dormant volcano, which last erupted in the year 1708. This mountain has a perfectly formed cone on top and is 3776 meters above sea level.

» The amount of ash produced during the eruption of Tambora―a volcano in Indonesia―in 1815 brought about drastic climatic change. The temperature all over the world dropped down. In August 1816, New England in USA experienced severe frosts.

» The sound produced by an eruption on the island of Krakatoa―a volcanic island located between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia―in 1883 was so loud that even the people of Australia heard it. This was the loudest sound to be heard in the history of mankind.

Approximately around 500 million people in this world live close to the active volcanoes. At this moment, while you are reading this article, somewhere around the globe a few active volcanoes are 'actually' erupting.