America’s Yellowstone National Park sits atop of the biggest volcano known to man. The geysers of Yellowstone may seem like a mere tourist attraction, but they hold a far more dangerous secret bubbling beneath the surface. Yellowstone is in fact an active volcano. The boiling bubbling magma underneath the park heats the water in Firehole River and the geyser basin where you find hot springs. The land mass of our earth, the very ground on which you now stand was the result of volcanic eruptions. These, suffice to say, were slightly bigger than the volcano which left Pompeii buried beneath rock, Vesuvius. Our Earth itself holds a deadly secret deep down; it is sort of the same as giant gobstopper with many layers, one of these being a liquid core of molten rock.
A small volcano has the ability to kill, melting all that stands in its way as it spews out the magma stored inside. Although without Vesuvius covering Pompeii we would not be left with such well preserved remains of the ancient inhabitants. However I doubt the residents of that city covered in molten rock see it the same way. If Yellowstone were to erupt I very much doubt there would be anyone to uncover us, what with the Yellowstone volcano covering a scary 300 square miles. Yes, that’s 300 square miles worth of killer molten rock ready and waiting to erupt.
OK so the magma chamber concealed by the park may be a whopping 30 miles down below us, but it hasn’t as of yet showed any interest in emigrating to another planet. The closest this magma gets to the surface is around 5 to 10 miles. If you think about it, it must be rather hot to boil water from that distance. If it were to erupt we would not stand a chance. We have seen attempts in films of stopping magma although, the plan of action in film volcano would be no more than that; an attempt. There are simply not enough helicopters in this world to make it worthwhile.
Recent clouds of ash have stopped our planes from taking off, these travelled from the EyjafjallajÃ¶kull volcano situated in Iceland. This gives you some idea of the ‘mag-ma-tude’ (ok that one was awful I admit) of damage that a volcano can cause. The Icelandic volcano is tiny in comparison to Yellowstone at a miniscule 39 square miles. For the past 3 years Yellowstone’s deadly secret has been rising at a rate of 3 inches per year. Not a lot you say? Why? Would you rather it got a bit faster? Thought not! A rise of any amount still means that this mother lode of molten magma is heading straight for us, and given the fact that until 3 years ago it was only rising at a third of current rate who’s to say that every three years it won’t increase three-fold?
During January and February this year, Yellowstone Park was witness to a good 2,350! Yes 2,350 earthquakes! If that’s not worrying then what is? Coupled with the eruptions from the EyjafjallajÃ¶kull volcano, add that to the possibility that its fellow molten friend Katla (although dormant for the time being) could erupt, need I say any more? Then, if we add the recent earthquakes in other parts of the world, things are not looking too good. Perhaps those astronauts up at the space station should stay up there where it’s safer. Like most things in life there is never really just a single event, it is normally followed by others e.g. the term chain reaction. Or what I prefer to call the domino effect and no I’m talking about the indigestion caused by eating your pizza too fast. Although, I wouldn’t go booking the next rocket out to space just yet, from what we know this colossus of the volcano world only erupt every 600,000 years ….. Hey! ….. Just a second, hasn’t it been around 600,000 years since the last time …… oh dear!