We’re living on borrowed time, folks. As secure as we might feel going through our daily lives, the natural world is essentially just waiting to explode in a burst of ash and magma. In the United States alone, there are 169 active volcanoes. In Alaska alone, there are small eruptions occurring once every year or so. For the most part, these eruptions are contained. However, the potential for global catastrophe is always present thanks to these slumbering giants. Over the course of history, mankind’s path through the world has been shaped, stopped, forged, and obliterated in the face of volcanoes. It’s for darn good reason that people are still captivated and unnerved by these geological wonders.
1. Chaiten Volcano, Chile on May 2, 2008
Volcanoes are named for the Roman god Vulcan, the god of fire, who made his forge in the base of a volcano.