Right now, there are 1,500 active volcanoes on Earth. Just one of those volcanoes could do catastrophic damage. But at midnight tonight, every volcano on the planet is erupting. You, uh, might want to cancel any plans you have.
HOW MUCH DAMAGE ARE WE TALKING ABOUT, HERE? WHAT WOULD LIFE BE LIKE FOR THE SURVIVORS? AND WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT GETS EVEN WORSE THAN LAVA?
Brace yourself. This may just be the worst weather forecast you’re ever going to hear. Every volcano on Earth, active or dormant, on land or under the sea is ready to blow the lid off this place. You can expect to see plumes of ash, lava bombs, and jet spurts on every single continent, and in every single ocean.
But I know what you’re thinking. You can take the heat right? Well, take a seat there Sparky. It’s going to get a whole lot worse. If every volcano on Earth erupted at once, it would set off some high magnitude earthquakes. This is because so many volcanoes are located near the shifting tectonic plates of the Earth.
And while the lava and earthquakes would certainly do some major damage, one of the biggest blows we’re going to face is the nasty gases that spew out of volcanoes. Clouds of gas, smoke, and ash can travel in almost liquid-like motions to anywhere in the world. They could smother the Earth in a matter of minutes.
But let’s say for a second, you managed to survive the initial explosions? Well, I’ve got two very upsetting words for you, volcanic ash. The volcanic ash would blackout the skies, blocking any sunlight in the process. This would cause the temperature on Earth to plummet. Without the Sun, the Earth’s surface temperature would plunge to 0 °C (32 °F) after the first week, and then to -66 °C (-150 °F) by the end of the first year.
On the bright side, it’s not an inferno of death anymore. *Voiced as if you’re shrugging* To make matters worse, no sunlight means no plants, which means no food for animals. Most animal species would go extinct, as the loss of plants would set off a mass extinction due to its impact on the food chain.
And don’t hold your breath for the stragglers. You can expect acid rain to take care of them. This is because of those volcanic gases we mentioned earlier. Hydrochloric acid, hydrogen flouride, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide, would condense in the atmosphere. And they would fall to the Earth as rain.
This would then contaminate any freshwater supply we had left. But what if we had some fighters still kicking? What would life be like for those living in the aftermath?
Well, the economy isn’t going to do you any favors. The volcanic destruction would cause a complete economic collapse. Every business and bank would shut down, you would lose access to credit and become instantly unemployed. Unless you count being a wasteland survivor as your new job.
It would be full-blown Post-Apocalyptica out there. Searching the ash-covered world for aquifers containing freshwater, venturing out into the wasteland for supplies, and living in heated, underground bunkers.
Now, while it is very possible that volcanoes could set each other off by being in close proximity, the chances of every volcano on Earth exploding at once is highly unlikely.
But it does make us think about how quickly things can go south. What if we could prepare for something like this?
- “Types Of Volcanic Eruptions“. 2020. Geology.Com.
- “Power Of Plate Tectonics: Volcanoes | AMNH“. 2020. American Museum Of Natural History.
- “Volumes Of The World’s Oceans From ETOPO1 | Ngdc.Noaa.Gov“. 2020. Web.Archive.Org.
- “Active, Dormant, & Extinct Volcanoes Of The National Park System“. 2020. National Park Foundation.
- “What If Every Volcano On Earth Erupted At Once?“.Oskin, Becky. 2015. Livescience.Com.
- “Can An Eruption At One Volcano Trigger An Eruption At Another Volcano?“. 2020. Usgs.Gov.
- “What If All The World’s Supervolcanoes Erupted At Once“. 2020. Business Insider.