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NATURE

What are the largest active volcanoes in the world?

Volcanoes around the world have been putting on some impressive shows prompting the question by many, which ones are the biggest? Here’s a look at them…

Update:
Volcanoes around the world have been putting on some impressive shows prompting the question by many, which ones are the biggest? Here’s a look at them…
CRISTOBAL SAAVEDRA ESCOBARREUTERS

Yet another volcanic eruption has captured the attention of the world. Authorities in Iceland had been preparing for lava to spew forth from the ground for nearly two months after a swarm of intense earthquakes shook the small town of Grindavik. On the evening of 18 December, a fissure some 2.5 miles long ejected molten rock 330 feet into the air lighting up the night sky and could be seen from the capitol Reykjavik 25 miles away.

At the same time in late October that the magma rising to the surface near the settlement in southwest Iceland caused cracks to form through Grindavik, Mount Etna put on its own display once again. The tallest volcano in Europe located on the island of Sicily and is one of the most active in the world in an almost constant state of activity.

This has made it a tourist attraction drawing the attention of volcano enthusiasts from all over the world who are amazed by the beauty of nature’s force. Mount Etna is number six on the list of the ten tallest volcanoes.

Four of the ten largest volcanoes in the world, as of publishing, are currently erupting. They include Mayon in the Philippines, Popocatepetl in Mexico and Semeru in Indonesia.

And while most of the volcanoes on the list have come to life on numerous occasions in recent centuries, one has been silent for 360,000 years.

Kilimanjaro in Tanzania has three volcanic peaks and the tallest, Kibo, is currently dormant but volcanologists believe that it could possibly erupt again, but it is unlikely to do so anytime soon. However, if activity picked up under the surface, there exists the possibility that the mountain could collapse in on itself.

Top ten largest active volcanos

Many of the largest active volcanos can be found along a region called the “Ring of Fire,” which creates the outer border of the Pacific Ocean. This area is known for volcanos and higher levels of seismic activity more prone to earthquakes. It runs from Antartica in the south, up through New Zeland, the Indonesian archipelago, Japan and the Kamchatka peninsula in the east of Russia. Then across the Aleutian Islands of Alaska over to the west coast of North America continuing down along Central American and South America and back to Antartica to complete the ring.

The ten largest volcanoes in terms of height:

  1. Mauna Loa - United States
  2. Mount Kilimanjaro - Tanzania
  3. Popocatépetl - Mexico
  4. Mount Fuji - Japan
  5. Mount Semeru - Indonesia
  6. Etna - Italy
  7. Mount St Helens - United States
  8. Mayon Volcano - Philippines
  9. Mount Bromo - Indonesia
  10. Arenal Volcano - Costa Rica

Plate tectonics keep our planet evolving all the time and while most of the tallest volcanoes are hundreds of thousands of years old, the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica is believed to be a mere 7,000 years old. The world’s youngest popped out of a cornfield in Paricutin, Mexico in 1943. Over nine years of eruptions it formed a cone nearly 1,400 feet high and swallowed up two towns in the process.