Many people are fascinated by volcano facts. These structures have the power to create new tracts of land, or to eliminate every living thing in a geographic area, or do both at the same time. Here are five facts about volcanoes you might not have known before.
- Volcanic eruptions cause gorgeous sunsets. The massive amounts of fine volcanic dust refract light to cause the colorful phenomena, often world-wide. So, if that super-volcano in Yellow Stone National Park ever does erupt again, we can all enjoy vivid sunsets while we all die from poison gas or starvation.
- The world's largest volcano is Hawaii's Mauna Loa. The massive mountain rises 13,000 feet from sea level, and drops down another five kilometers beneath the ocean. It covers half of the island of Hawaii.
- Other planets have volcanoes, too. There is evidence of volcanic activity on Venus, Mars and our Moon, as well as on other moons and planets. Io, one of Jupiter's moons, has the most active volcano in the solar system.
- Volcanoes get their name from the Roman god Vulcan. Ancient Romans believed that the billowing smoke produced by volcanoes came from Vulcan's underground forge. The word vulcanic also refers to this specific type of smoking eruption.
- It is illegal to remove lava or volcanic rock from Hawaii's national parks. In addition, it is considered unlucky to remove lava rocks from the parks. Many tourists who take a chunk of the rock and later feel pangs about their pilfering mail back the stolen stones.