Author: james teideman
Awesome, powerful, beautiful and extremely dangerous: lava lovers, feast your eyes and your fears on this selection of the world’s most impressive volcanic attractions.
1. Soufriere Hills, Montserrat
The sublime tropical island of Montserrat has a monster in its midst, the glowing lava dome of Soufriere Hills. Since blowing its top in 1995, the Hills has continued to behave badly, destroying capital, Plymouth and rendering most of the island uninhabitable.
2. Krakatoa, Indonesia
After Vesuvius’s destruction of Pompeii, the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 is one of the most infamous in history. Its explosion is judged to be the loudest sound ever heard, while its ash cloud blotted out the sun and caused of cancellation of many a barbecue many thousands of miles away in the UK.
3. Yellowstone Caldera, USA
Yellowstone Caldera is a ‘Supervolcano’, which sounds pretty scary, doesn’t it. Fortunately it has only had three superuptions in the last two million years. However, the possibility of ‘hydrothermal explosions’ led the U.S. Geological Survey to classify Yellowstone as a ‘high-threat’ system. Looks pretty cool though.
4. Piton de la Fournaise, Réunion
Piton de la Fournaise is one of the world’s top five most active volcanoes, having had a major eruption four times in the last eight years. Otherwise, French-speaking Réunion is an idyllic tropical island in the Indian Ocean. French football legend Zinedine Zidane has a holiday home there, We will resist making a cheap comparison of these two hot-headed characters.
5.Mount Fuji, Japan
One of the most famous peaks on the planet, Mount Fuji is a potent symbol of Japan. Scaling its heights is a national must-do. Although still classed as active, Fuji hasn’t erupted since 1708, so the threat of being consumed by hot magma is thankfully fairly low..
6. Mount Bromo, Indonesia
Indonesia does quite well for volcanoes, if it’s right to put it like that. Ijen, Ranjani, Semeru, Kelimutu and many more. Mount Bromo is but one in a series of peaks in East Java, sitting in the middle of the evocatively-named Sea of Sand. Bromo went bang big style in 2011.
7. Shishaldin, Alaska, USA
Sticking 10,000 feet up from Unimak Island in the Aleutians, the chain that stretches towarrds Asia from Alaska, the near-perfect snow cone of Shishaldin offers a truly awesome 6,000-foot ski descent. Not that anyone goes there. Its two-peaked wee brother in the foreground is Isanotski.
8. Popocatepetl, Mexico
Try saying that after a few mezcals. Looming over Mexico City (if the smog thins enough to see it), Popocatepetl provides an anxious presence. With increasing activity, including several eruptions of steam and ash just last month, it is looking odds-on for a big blow in the near future.
9. Mt. Kilauea, Hawaii
Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island claims the title of the world’s most active volcano. Take a boat trip to see one of its most spectacular sights – red hot lava oozing into the ocean which causes the sea to boil and vaporise into white plumes of steam.
10. Mount Etna, Italy
This fiery Sicilian mountain boasts the title of being Europe’s most active volcano. Despiet being in a state of almost constant activity, it’s a mega tourist draw,. You can take a four-wheel drive excursion to explore Etna’s lava fields, volcanic caves and tunnels, and eruptive fissures, but don’t get too close!