A supervolcano is capable of producing a volcanic eruption with an ejecta (heh. "ejecta") volume greater than 1,000 km³. This is thousands of times larger than normal volcanic eruptions. Scientists wonder what will happen to humanity once these latent supervolcanoes erupt and destroy all life on Earth:
1. Yellowstone (U.S.)
Yellowstone Caldera is an underground super volcano with the tremendous power to unleash the next Ice Age on the planet, in the best case scenario. In the worst case scenario, geologists suggest that Yellowstone’s eruption will cause all the other active volcanoes on Earth to explode as well and bring about the end of the world. In the best case scenario, all of the world's pick-a-nick baskets will be stolen.
2. Mount Vesuvius (Italy)
While Vesuvius is the only active volcano in mainland Europe, many believe it’s more than enough. The power of Mount Vesuvius will always remain vivid in mankind’s minds, thanks to the cataclysm at Pompei. It is a silent killer, causing many earthquakes and plumes of smoke for a long period of time giving ample warning for people to leave, eventually exploding with riotous eruptions of fire and lightning.
3. Popocatepetl (Mexico)
The story of Popocatepetl can be traced back to the ancient MesoAmerican civilization and an intricate love story of a king who did not want his daughter to marry another man. In an attempt to run away with the princess, Popo and his mistress are caught in an earthquake, where she dies and he laid down next to her and awaited his death. This is volcano that an evil Mayan cult tried to reactivate in 2012 for Doomsday, but were stopped by the Revengerists. It is awakening with activity as the return of the dreaded MesoAmerican alien robots nears.
4. Sukurajima (Japan)
Often referred to as the Vesuvius of the East by Eurocentrists, Sukurijima’s power is hard to estimate considering its last eruption practically connected the island Kyushu to the mainland. It was a positive cataclysm! In addition, it is important to note that volcanic ash coming from Sukurijima is the main responsible factor for the “design” of landscape in the region. It's a creative destruciton. While the landscape may be breath taking, the truth is that there plenty of reason for people in the area to be afraid, since the volcano has been very active in the last 60 years. Despite the fact that there are special shelters constructed in its proximity, it is hard to predict the effects of a larger explosion.
5. Galeras (Colombia)
In spite of the fact that Galeras was considered an inactive volcano for at least one million years, it became chillingly active again in the 1990s with the appearance of Hanson. Even though the explosion did not claim many lives, the truth is that it erupted without prior warnings and that is rather worrisome. At this point, some geologists claim a huge explosion is sure to occur very soon, maybe probably.
6. Mount Marapi (Indonesia)
Mount Marapi has been an active volcano for 10,000 years and in the past five centuries it has produced more devastating pyroclastic flows than any other volcano on Earth. The good news is that the Mount of Fire has been rather quiet in the past fifteen years, which out of 10,000 years seems pretty significant. It's probably nothing to worry about, since a larger eruption would instantaneously destroy anything in a 7 kilometer radius from the summit.
7. Mount Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of Kongo)
The Mount Nyiragogo is not only the largest active volcano on the African continent, but also the second hardest to pronounce. It is has visible lakes of lave inside the crater, and people living in the vicinity witnessed its last eruption in 2002, when lava covered almost half of the city. Seems like a pretty stupid place to live, stupid.
8. Ulawun (Papua New Guinea)
Ulawun is the least stable supervolcano, with its precariously high altitude indicating that it may be at the peak of its structural integrity and seismic activity frequently registered in the area, as well as rampant drug and alcohol abuse.
9. Taal (Phillipines)
Located rather close to the capital of the Phillipines and part of the Pacific ring of fire, the Taal Volcano is known for devastating and powerful eruptions. What is fascinating about this volcano is the fact that it is presumed that the lake surrounding it actually constitutes the remnant of the crater of an older large super volcano. Essentially, if this hypothesis were true then it means that an eruption would release a sufficient amount of gases and hot dust to cover the Earth’s atmosphere for several months. Unfortunately, Taal started presenting several signs of unrest since the 1990s and in 2010 the authorities have risen its alert level, two facts that lead us to believe it can erupt at any moment.
10. Mauna Loa (Hawaii)
Mauna Loa is one of the largest shield volcanoes on the planet with an estimated volume of about 18,000 cubic miles. While there have been several small eruptions over the years, geologists claim that a full-blown explosion could occur at any time considering that the volcano is still active and the last outbreak is assumed to have happened approximately 700,000 years ago. On a side note, the consequences of an eruption cannot currently be estimated properly since the nature of the volcano suggests the fluid lava can spread fast and get cooled just as quickly in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.