It is hard to measure but it is estimated that there are roughly 1500 active volcanoes in the world and three-quarters of them are in the Pacific ring of fire. In an average year, there would be 50-75 volcanic eruptions. A volcano becomes extinct when there's no lava supply in the magma chamber beneath the volcano. Read on to find out more fascintating information and facts about volcanoes.

What is the tallest volcano?

The tallest volcano in the world, Ojos del Salado, is in the driest desert in the world but it still gets covered with snow, sometimes even in Summer. It is the second tallest mountain in the Southern hemisphere and it sits on the Argentina / Chile border. It is Chile's tallest mountain.

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The tallest volcano in the world is Ojos del Salado in South America.

The open slopes make it an easy mountain to drive up and in 2007,

a German expedition drove up as high as 6361 m - A world record. 

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Top 10 tallest volcanoes in the world. 

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  1. Ojos del Salado         6,893 m      (22,615 ft)     Argentina / Chile

  2. Llullaillaco                  6,739 m       (22,110 ft)      Argentina / Chile

  3. Tipas                               6,660 m     (21,850 ft)    Argentina

  4. Incahuasi                     6,621 m       (21,722 ft)      Argentina / Chile

  5. Nevado Sajama        6,542 m       (21,463 ft)      Bolivia

  6. Cerro El Condor       6,532 m        (21,430 ft)      Argentina

  7. Coropuna                    6,377 m        (20,922 ft)      Peru

  8. Parinacota                  6,348 m      (20,827 ft)      Bolivia / Chile

  9. Ampato                        6,288 m       (20,630 ft)      Peru

  10. Chimborazo               6,267 m        (20,561 ft)      Ecuador

Mount Chimborazo, Ecuador

The earth is fattest at the Equator and this volcano, Chimborazo, is near to the equator. This means that the peak of this volcano is the point of the earth that is furthest away from the centre of the earth. 

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Nevada Sajama, Bolivia

It is not an exact science deciding whether volcanoes are active or extinct. This is Bolivia's tallest mountain and it is believed to be extinct. At 6,542 m above sea level, it is the world's 5th tallest volcano.

Tallest volcano by continent

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Mount Damavand in Iran is the tallest volcano in Asia.

1       Ojos del Salado                 6,893 m             South America
2      Mount Kilimanjaro          5,895 m            Africa
3       Mount Elbrus                     5,642 m            Europe
4      Pico de Orizaba                 5,636 m           North America
5      Mount Damavand           5,610 m             Asia
6      Mount Giluwe                   4,368 m            Oceania
7       Mount Sidley                     4,181 m              Antarctica

 

These seven volcanoes are also called:

the volcanic seven summits.

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Mount Sidley is covered in ice and surrounded by ice. It is the tallest volcano in Antarctica. 

Most Active Volcano

There is no official definition of what makes a volcano the most active in the world but these volcanoes all hold good claims for the title.

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Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii has erupted 45 times in the 20th century.

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Mount Etna is often cited as the most active volcano in Europe. Since 1600, at least 60 flank eruptions and countless summit eruptions have occurred.

Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has erupted 34 times since 1882.

 

Piton de la Fournaise – La Reunion Island. It has had more than 150 eruptions since the 17th century.

Famous eruptions in recorded history

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These eruptions have entered the annals of history as being amongst the biggest or the most disruptive.

 

Eyjafjallajokull                 in 2010

 

Pinatubo                              in 1991


Mount St Helens               in 1980

Krakatoa                               in 1883


Tambora                               in 1815

 

Santorini                              in 1610

 

Vesuvius                               in 79

This picture of the crater of Eyjafjallajokull does not look like a volcano which can cancel 107,000 flights during an 8 day period and leave roughly 10 million passengers stranded.  But do not be deceived by this picture of calm.

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INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT VOLCANOES