Volcanoes are one of nature’s most powerful and awe-inspiring phenomena. Volcanic eruptions can cause immense destruction and devastation, yet at the same time, they are essential for the long-term health of our planet. Volcanoes occur when molten rock (magma) erupts from within the Earth, sometimes explosively and sometimes more gently. They can spew out lava, rocks, ash, and other materials, and some even produce stunningly beautiful lava fountains and glowing hot clouds. On land, volcanoes are often found along the edges of tectonic plates, and beneath the ocean, they form underwater mountain ranges. Volcanoes have shaped the Earth’s surface and climate for millions of years, and they continue to affect us today.
1. Volcanoes are openings of the Earth’s surface.
Volcanoes are openings of the Earth’s surface.
When a volcano erupts lava, ash and gas is expelled from it.
The hole at the top is known as the volcanic crater.Embed from Getty Images
2. The word volcano comes from the word ‘vulcan’.
Have you ever wondered where the word volcano comes from?
It comes from the world ‘vulcan’ who was the Roman God of fire!
3. Volcanoes can be active, dormant or extinct.
An active volcano is one that has erupted within the last 10,000 years or it has some type of activity going on.
This activity could be anything from gases being released or even earthquakes around it.
A dormant volcano is one that hasn’t erupted in the last 10,000 years, however there is a chance it will erupt at some point.
An extinct volcano is one that hasn’t erupted in the last 10,000 years and is unlikely to erupt in the future.
4. The liquid inside the volcano is called magma.
Volcanoes hold very hot liquid called magma.
Magma is rock that is so hot, it has turned into a liquid.
It glows bright orange and is held in a chamber within the volcano.Embed from Getty Images
5. Lava is the liquid that is expelled from the volcano.
Once a volcano erupts, the magma will come out of the top of the volcano.
After it has left the volcano, it is called lava.
Once the lava has cooled down it will turn into solid rock.
Embed from Getty Images
6. Lava is very, very hot!
That’s right, lava is very hot!
It can get up to 1,250° Celsius.
This makes volcanoes very dangerous and it is why they should be avoided.
Each volcano has a different level of risk which should always be researched before visiting.
7. There are volcanoes on other planets too!
The largest volcano in our solar system isn’t on planet Earth.
It’s on Mars!
The volcano is called Olympus Mons.Embed from Getty Images
8. There are around 1,500 active volcanoes in the world.
There are lots of volcanoes, in fact, there are around 1,500 which are active.
Most volcanoes are found in countries that have coastlines on the Pacific Ocean.
Luckily in the UK we have no active volcanoes.
9. The largest volcano on Earth is Mauna Loa in Hawaii.
The largest volcano on Earth is in Hawaii. It’s called the Mauna Loa.
From sea level it is 4,169 metres high. However, under the sea it also goes down another 5,000 metres.
This would make it higher than Mount Everest!
Since 1843, it has erupted 33 times.Embed from Getty Images
10. Volcanoes are usually where tectonic plates meet.
Volcanoes often occur where tectonic plates meet.
Tectonic plates are like puzzle pieces that cover the Earth.
They are underneath the ground.
The plates always move very slowly but when the plates move suddenly they often cause an earthquake.Embed from Getty Images
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