Simulation Shows Nearly 12,000 Years of Volcano Eruptions

Kirstin Fawcett
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When most people think of volcanoes, they likely envision the famous eruptions—such as Mount Vesuvius's explosion in 79 CE—that they learned about in school. But did you know that around 50 to 60 volcanic eruptions occur across the globe each month?

In the video below—which geologists at the University of Geneva created using data from the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program—you can watch a neat visualization of all the large-magnitude volcanic eruptions that scientists know occurred over the past 11,700 years. According to the video's description, the circle size is proportional to the eruption's magnitude, and red circles are eruptions that occurred within the previous 10 years.

Word to the wise: Only recorded eruptions of a magnitude between 4 and 7 are shown in the video, so keep in mind that plenty of lesser ones likely didn’t make the cut.