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Fact about Mount Etna
Studies show that there are about 60 active volcanoes erupting around the world every year. Most of them are under various oceans, and their eruptions are a subject of interest for all geologists. Indonesia, Japan, and the United States are some of the countries that have recorded the most number of volcanic eruptions in the past. These silent giants of fury lie around scenic surroundings and have the potential to become one of the most powerful and destructive volcanoes. Let us have a look at some of the famous volcanic eruptions around the world.

Mount Vesuvius, Italy
This volcano buried the entire city of Pompeii under its ashes in 79 AD leading to the death of at least 16,000 people. What makes Mount Vesuvius one of the most famous volcanoes of the world, is that the ash preserved the remains of entire city of Pompeii and its inhabitants as well as their pets as it is. History shows that Mount Vesuvius has erupted at least 40 times after the mass destruction of 79 AD. When active, it never spewed any liquid lava; only ash and volcanic bombs caused most of the destruction. It is also one of the most densely populated volcanic areas in the world, thus making this volcano equally dangerous.

Mount Vesuvius


Cotopaxi, Ecuador
Forming a part of the Andes mountain range today, Cotopaxi is also one of the volcanoes of the Pacific Ring of Fire. With 86 recorded eruptions, Cotopaxi is regarded as one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The worst eruptions in the past took place in the years 1744, 1768, and 1877. If this volcano erupts today, there is a possible threat to the cities of Quito and Latacunga with lives of more than 2,000,000 at stake.

Cotopaxi Volcano


Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii
This is one of the most famous volcanoes in Hawaii. It lies in the southeast part of the Hawaii, and a major portion of the volcano remains underwater. This volcano is surrounded by 4 other prominent volcanoes (Mauna Loa being one of them), which together comprise one island. History suggests that the volcanic activity of only one volcano is active at a time -- either Kilauea volcano, or its neighbor, Mauna Loa. Kilauea Volcano is thus considered to be the most famous active volcano of the earlier times. There are various legends that are associated with this volcano and its eruptions. The crater that can be seen at present was actually formed in the year 1790, and it comprises a pit crater called Halemaumau. The present eruption of this volcano began in 1983 and has become one of the longest eruptions that has remained active.

Kilauea Volcano


Mount St. Helens Volcano, Washington
This volcano that erupted in 1980 is regarded as the worst one in the history of United States. It erupted for the first time approximately 120 years back. The eruption on May 18, 1980 was as strong as the explosion of about 30,000 nuclear bombs. The eruption showed 5.1 on the Richter scale, which led to the collapse of the north side of the mountain and resulted in a great amount of avalanche debris. The eruption lasted for more than nine hours and burned down around 150 square miles of forest area. This eruption took 57 lives in spite of prior warnings.

Mount St. Helens Volcano


Mount Fuji, Japan
One of the most famous volcanoes of the world is Mount Fuji. It buried Tokyo in ash when it last erupted in December 1707 and continued till January 1708. This mountain stands about 12,000 feet high and therefore remains snow-capped for most part of the year. In spite of being an active stratovolcano, as of today, Mount Fuji has been classified as an 'active but with a low risk of violent eruption' volcano.

Mount Fuji


Mount Bromo, East Java, Indonesia
Located in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, this volcano is known for its breathtaking peak. This is one of the active volcanoes, and when it erupted in December 2000 it spewed ash up to 700 meters in the air. The eruptions started again in January 2011 that lasted for about a week. Mount Bromo is one of the two volcanoes that was formed after a massive eruption. The other mountain is the non-active Mount Batok.

Mount Bromo


Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland
Having a tongue twister for a name, this volcano is one of the small ice caps around Iceland. Eyjafjallajökull means 'Island mountain glacier' in Icelandic. The mountain is of height 1653 meters, having a crater of 2 to 2.5 miles in diameter. This is one of the volcanoes that forms a chain across the entire country of Iceland. It is also one of the most famous active volcanoes in the world having recently erupted in 2010. It gave rise to a mammoth ash cloud that caused a virtual shut down of airports around Europe. Its latest eruptions caused the airline industry a loss of millions of US dollars.

Eyjafjallajökull


Mount Pinatubo, Philippines
Situated in the Cabusilan Mountains of the island of Luzon, Mount Pinatubo, the volcano last erupted in the year 1991 to such an extent that it became 20th century's largest and most famous volcanic eruption. The volcano erupted around 2.4 m3 of magma and deposited a large amount of pyroclastic matter on the Earth's surface. The eruption coincided with the onset of typhoon Yunya, thus leading to the formation of mixture of ash and rain. This eventually led to mass property destruction along with pollution of river ecosystem. The aerosols formed a layer in the stratosphere causing the temperature (worldwide) to drop by 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) for nearly two years.

Mount Pinatubo


Krakatoa, Indonesia
The Krakatoa volcanoes form an island in Indonesia and are known for their eruption of 1883. The volcanoes erupted with a sound so large that it was believed to have been heard as far as 3,000 miles from the actual site. The eruption also led to the destruction of almost two-thirds of the Krakatoa islands and casualty of more than 36,000 people. Dead bodies of people were found floating in water, months after the event. The northernmost section of the Krakatoa volcanoes recently surfaced again and is active in the creation of a new island at the same location. This island, with an ongoing process of formation, is called Anak Krakatau (Child of Krakatoa).

Krakatoa


Mount Etna, Italy (Sicily)
Mount Etna is the tallest active volcano in Europe with an elevation of 3,329 meters. Located on the eastern coast of Sicily, this stratovolcano has been chosen as one of the Decade Volcanoes by the United Nations. This means that since Mount Etna has been active for a considerable period of time and is situated close to civilization, detailed research needs to be carried out. Volcanic activity has been taking place since half a million years ago, till date. The most unusual characteristic that this volcano has showed more than once, is the eruption in the form of smoke rings -- it was recorded for the first time in the 1970s followed by in 2000.

Mount Etna


Mount Mayon, Philippines
Widely famous for its symmetrical conical shape or 'perfect cone', Mt. Mayon is an active volcano situated on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. This volcano is of stratovolcano type and forms a portion of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Considered as the only volcano in the world to have a perfectly-formed cone, the eruption of Mt. Mayon that lasted for the longest period of time was on June 23, 1897. The eruption remained uninterrupted for 7 days at a stretch when its lava buried the nearby village up to 15 meters. The recently recorded eruptions include those of July to October 2006, August 2008, and July 2009 to January 2010; no loss of lives or property were recorded during the actual time of eruption.

Mount Mayon


Popocatépetl, Central Mexico
Located in Central Mexico, Popocatépetl is an active volcano of stratovolcano type and is believed to be 730,000 years old. Being one of the frequently active volcanoes, it started spewing gases on a regular basis since 1991 -- until that year, it was considered to be in the dormant state. At the elevation of 5,426 meters, Popocatépetl is one of the highest peaks in Mexico. Originally, the volcano was covered with glaciers, but with the increasing volcanic activity and higher temperatures than before, the glaciers have now become extinct.
Popocatépetl


Other Famous Volcanoes

★ Mount Rainier, Washington State

★ Mount Tambora, Indonesia

★ Mauna Loa, Hawaii

★ Mount Pelée, Martinique (The Caribbean Islands)

★ Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat (The Caribbean Islands)

Although there is a fine line between designating a volcano as active, dormant, and extinct, the aforementioned volcanoes continue to fascinate everyone, right from a common man to volcanologists. The ongoing research will only prevent us from the nature's fury, because it is impossible to tame it.