Biggest Volcanic Eruptions In History

Illustration for article titled Biggest Volcanic Eruptions In History

The continued eruption of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii has shown the variety of devastating consequences that volcanic eruptions can pose for the environment and human life. The Onion looks back at some of the biggest and most destructive volcanic eruptions in history.


Santa Maria Volcano (1902):

The Guatemalan volcano’s eruption in 1902 killed more than 5,000 unsuspecting civilians, plus a few people who were just kind of curious to find out how lava felt.

Havre Seamount (2012):

This one was underwater, so whatever.

Krakatoa (1883):

The eruption that nearly destroyed the entire island and killed tens of thousands has since served as an inspiration for many elementary school science projects.

Eyjafjallajökull (2010):

Uncle Steve’s flight home from Paris got delayed three goddamn days because of this bullshit.


Yellowstone (640,000 years ago):

The massive volcanic eruption of Yellowstone is responsible for creating the vast diversity of animals in the area.


Mount Vesuvius (79):

Honestly, it wasn’t even that big, but that sure didn’t stop Roman historian Pliny the Younger from coasting on having witnessed it for his entire fucking career.


Mount Pinatubo (1991):

This eruption was so powerful, it lowered the temperature of the entire Earth by 1 degree Fahrenheit. Fortunately, we’ve more than made up the difference since then.