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Culture > News

Here’s What We Actually Know About The Yellowstone ‘Supervolcano’ & Whether You Should Panic or Not

Unless you’ve been living safely under a rock this past year, you probably know about Yellowstone National Park’s “supervolcano” —and its threat to the planet whenever it decides to erupt. (Casual.) 


Yea, that’s right. You could still be alive when it happens.

According to Researchers at Arizona State University, the “supervolcano” sleeping underneath Yellowstone is building pressure much faster than expected. Scientists believed that the volcano wouldn’t erupt for the next thousands of years. PLOT TWIST: it’s expected to erupt as early as the 2030’s. 

The volcano has the potential to expel nearly 250 cubic miles of molten rock and ash in just one blast. CBS reported back in 2015 that there have only been three giant eruptions in the last two million years. And they even said if Yellowstone’s eruption is anything like the last eruption which happened over 600,00 years ago, it will encircle the earth in volcanic ash and material. What can that mean for the planet and us? Well, I’m glad you asked.

According to Yahoo! back in 2014, the after-effects of the volcano could cover states like Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Colorado in three feet of ash. The Midwest would also be looking at a mix of splintered rocks and glass. The materials spewed out by the volcano have the potential to kill plants and animals, crush roofs and short out electrical equipment. According to Business Insider, the eruption wouldn’t wipe out human life, but it could mean a whole bunch of harmful gasses that could cause global cooling and acid rain. 

Here’s a map that shows the areas that would be affected the most, according to Science News: 

There is a tiny glimmer of hope: NASA has been working out ways to cool down the time bomb, according to the BBC. They want to drill into the volcano and pump high pressured water to extract heat from it. Not only do some people think it’s far-fetched, but they also think it’s way too expensive at $3.46 billion.

“The long-term benefit is that you prevent a future “supervolcano” eruption which would devastate humanity.” said NASA’s Brian Wilcox. At the end of the day, though, this is all still an estimation.

Try not to be too worried until the experts are as sure as they can be about this Yellowstone phenomenon. 

Kayleen is a senior at Florida International University and is pursuing her dream career as a journalist. She is addicted to HGTV and original shows on Netflix. Proud of her Cuban heritage, she rocks hoop earrings and cannot go a day without her pastelitos. You can find her on Instagram as @Mongaleen or follow her Disney account @Disneyleen.