Largest Underwater Volcano Eruption Ever Recorded

We almost failed to notice it, too! 

A New Zealander who was flying home from a holiday in Samoa noticed a strange mass floating in the ocean in her airplane window. The woman took photos of the odd sight and emailed them to scientists, who then realized that this large mass wasn’t a new island popping out of the ocean-- it was a mass of floating rock from an underwater volcano that erupted. 

The volcano in question is the Havre Seamount, which was initially unnoticed by scientists until its eruption that produced the large rift of rocks to flow to the top of the ocean. The eruption is estimated to be roughly 1.5 times larger than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens – or 10 times the size of the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland


Image credit: Rebecca Carey, University of Tasmania/Adam Soule, WHOI

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