Saturday, April 29, 2017

Y is for the Yellowstone Conspiracy

Image: Jerry and Pat Donahoe, Lower Falls at Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park, located in Wyoming, is an active super volcano. Surprised? Think of its popular features: the hot springs and geysers like Old Faithful. The heat for these is provided by magma chambers underground. A chamber of magma recently discovered under Yellowstone is estimated to be able to fill the Grand Canyon eleven times. (Source) That's a lot of magma!

Image: Maarten Otto, Yellowstone hot springs

But you need a lot to be classified as super. A super volcano is one that has erupted 250 cubic miles of magma. According to the park's website, Yellowstone has had at least three such eruptions: The three eruptions, 2.1 million years ago, 1.2 million years ago and 640,000 years ago, were about 6,000, 700 and 2, 500 times larger than the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mr. St. Helens in Washington State.

Image: Eric Vaughn, geyser at Yellowstone

So what's the conspiracy? That if Yellowstone's super volcano erupts, millions of Americans will be shipped off to live in either South America, namely Brazil or Argentina, Africa, or Australia. But don't pack your bags just yet. The volcano is dormant and chances of it erupting are about one in 730,000. (Source)

Have you ever been to Yellowstone? What country would you pick for relocation?


  1. Whereas Vesuvius and Etna really need keeping an eye on!

  2. Well, those aren't the best odds, 1 in 730,000. That sounds all too probable. I must admit super volcanoes equally fascinate me and terrify me. If it does plan to erupt again, then I hope we have enough advanced warning to get to those other continents because if you wait until it erupts, too many people won't have a chance to flee.

  3. I loved visiting Yellowstone. The raised walking platforms over the hot springs provide such a cool perspective. While there, my husband and I talked about how we hoped it wouldn't erupt at that time. As to where I'd move, I already did that :)

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Yuletide at the Olón Orphanage

  4. I love Yellowstone (almost as much as the Bitteroot Mountains north of the park). As for where I wanna go when the volcano blows (to borrow from Jimmy Buffet), maybe Patagonia

  5. I last visited Yellowstone in the late 1970s--like, gulp, nearly 40 years ago, when my grandparents lived in western Montana. The wildlife were insanely name. We had a doe walk up to the picnic table and stick her face in the salad bowl. A chipmunk ate from my hand. You couldn't keep any food at the campsites, because black bears would rifle through your tent while you were sleeping if they smelled food! Anyway, that trip made a big impression on me when I was a tiny person. The guysers seemed like something from another planet.

    Hmm. Not sure where I'd choose to relocate. Maybe New Zealand. I can search for hobbits and hang out with the sheep.

  6. Great and very helpful post!

  7. Which country would I pick for relocation...I guess I'd pick London. Because A they speak my language. No offense other great countries and B. I was their in 2011 and it was fabulous.
    which one would you pick tamara?

    1. opps that was yesterdays.

  8. "Never say never" and "Not even God can sink the Titanic." Just saying.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

  9. Yes, spent a short time in Yellowstone and would love to go back! Yes, I suppose it could happen - the earth could get hit by another asteroid, an ice age could happen, there could be an earthquake in Boston, but I guess we have to take our chances or stay at home, where we still might not be safe. https:// Maui Jungalow

  10. I don't want to even imagine that thing erupting. I've never been to Yellowstone, but I would love to one of these days.

  11. Somewhere in Africa would be my first choice, not an American so won't get asked of course answering hypothetically only :)

    Thank goodness the odds seem pretty much in favour of y'all staying put, the best place for magma is underground imho...

  12. Yellowstone is awesome. My husband has never been so I anticipate a future road trip.

    When I see that bubbling hot springs, I am reminded of the poor guy who fell in, a couple of years ago. Horrible.

  13. I've never been to Yellowstone, though my maternal grandparents went there a number of times when they were relatively young enough to still travel lots of places. I wouldn't want to be anywhere a volcano like that erupted!

  14. I have been to Yellowstone! I even blogged about Yellowstone for my Y post!

    Once Upon A Time

  15. I haven't been to Yellowstone...yet, but my boyfriend camped there last fall and loved it. He took some gorgeous photos.

  16. I haven't been to Yellowstone yet, but I want to go. How do they measure the odds of it's eruption likeliness? And why, exactly, are we sending people to Africa?

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