Read Full Article here… lifehacker.com

Photo: fboudrias (Shutterstock) Volcanic eruptions are more than juicy fodder for middle-school science fair projects. When hot gasses and molten rock spew from openings in the earth, it can quickly alter landscapes, level buildings, and kill a lot of people. Just ask the citizens of ancient Pompeii (if you can find anyone.) Volcanic eruptions run the gamut in terms of severity, from piddly “effusive eruptions,” in which streams of molten rock flow from a volcano, to the massive “explosive eruptions” of supervolcanos. The former happens all the time, whereas the latter are, thankfully, very rare, as one occurring could result in planet-wide catastrophe. How much do you need to worry about a volcano destroying your life? It depends on how much you want to worry, I guess. Most people in the United States are unlikely to have to contend with the immediate effects of a volcanic eruption (unless they live in the “ring of fire”; more on that in a few paragraphs), but a large enough volcanic eruption anywhere on the planet could lead to dire consequences for basically everyone. Supervolcanos: Catastrophic natural monstrosities The worst-case-scenario when it comes to volcanoes is a supereruption of a supervolcano . We’ve identified 60 supereruptions in Earth’s history, and there are about 20 supervolcanos on the planet . The largest supereruption ever in North America was at Yellowstone (arguably the largest volcano on earth) about 2.1 million years ago. The most recent supereruption was in Taupo in New Zealand around 22,600 years […]