The most dangerous volcanoes in the world

Volcanoes are natural phenomena that occur when magma inside the planet rises to the surface. These situations occur in certain places and at certain times. This depends mainly on the location of the faults and whether we are facing an active or inactive volcano. For this reason, not all volcanoes are the same, nor do they have the same shape, nor the same type of lava, nor the same force in eruptions, among other aspects.

What are volcanoes and their general characteristics

Keep in mind that the appearance of volcanoes is not accidental. Its location is usually determined by a break in the tectonic plates , which are the different parts that make up the lithosphere. These plates are in motion as they float on the liquid mantle inside the Earth. When some collide with others, or when one separates from another, in addition to the movement that this produces, the magma can also be generated. Magma is the incandescent liquid that makes up the interior of the Earth’s mantle. Being at high temperature, it tends to look for an exit, which ends up making it take advantage of any available space in the earth’s crust to rise to the surface. When this happens, it is when a volcano occurs.

However, volcanoes are not continuously emitting magma when they appear. Every time a volcano expels magma from its interior, it is said that there has been an eruption. Eruptions depend mainly on the internal activity of the planet. In this way, we can find active volcanoes and inactive volcanoes , depending on the frequency with which volcanic eruptions occur. As is logical, the most dangerous volcanoes on the planet will be the active ones, since they are the ones most likely to produce magma eruptions and, therefore, to damage the nearby environment.

However, this does not mean that dormant volcanoes are exempt from this possibility, since the column that allows the magma to escape is always there. In addition, after a volcano has been inactive for a long time, its eruptions tend to be more spectacular, since they take place with a greater amount of magma that has been retained for a longer time.

This is the list of volcanoes considered the most dangerous in the world , but according to what periods some are much more dangerous than others.

  • Vesuvius
  • Etna
  • Nyiragongo
  • Merapi
  • Papandayan
  • Teide
  • Sakura-Jima
  • Popocatepetl
  • Sierra Negra

In addition, there are many more active or inactive volcanoes that could wake up at any time, so this is only a reduced selection, but you can find many more.


This volcano is located on the Italian coast, very close to the city of Naples. It is a famous volcano because in the 1st century AD it was responsible for burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Currently, it is considered a volcano that is at rest. This can be more dangerous than in the rest of the cases, since scientists assure that a volcano that erupts after a long time has an even greater destructive potential.


The other great volcano in Italy is Etna, located on the island of Sicily, in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1669 an eruption reached the city of Catania, the largest in the area. In 1992 another similar eruption devastated large regions of the island, although fortunately it did not reach the city.


This volcano is located in the Congo. It is one of the most active volcanoes today. In 1977 the eruption of this volcano caused several dozen deaths. Likewise, in 2002, the last time it erupted, there were a total of 45 fatalities, in addition to destroying many buildings in nearby towns.


This volcano located in Indonesia is one of the most active volcanoes on the entire planet. Volcanologists have calculated that its activity causes it to erupt every 10 years or so. In 2006, the last eruption caused the death of thousands of people who lived in its surroundings.


This other volcano is also located in Indonesia, and is almost as active as Merapi. Its last eruption, in 2002, led to the destruction of large border areas. As well as the displacement of multitudes of people who lived in its vicinity, although the personal damages were considerably less.


It is a volcano located on the Canary Island of Tenerife (Spain). Currently, it is listed as a dormant volcano. However, volcanologists say that when it wakes up it could have catastrophic consequences for the entire island. We must not forget that the Canary archipelago is made up of islands of volcanic origin, which gives us an idea of ​​the power of this type of phenomenon.


This volcano is located in Japan, specifically on the island of Kyushu. It is an active volcano that last erupted in 2009. In addition to the danger posed by the presence of the volcano itself, we are talking about a region with a very high population rate, which also increases the risk of the volcano by make evacuation work more difficult.


This volcano, located in Mexico, is located just 70 kilometers from the Federal District, which is a real threat considering the population of this mega-city. In fact, Popocatepetl is just one of the more than 20 volcanoes distributed throughout the geography of the Aztec country, which stands out for the strong presence of seismic phenomena as it is located between several very active tectonic plates.

Sierra Negra

To finish commenting on which are the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, we have to mention the Sierra Negra, which is located in the Galapagos Islands. It is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet, whose last eruption took place in 2005. In this case, we do not have to talk about the risk it poses to people, since the Galapagos Islands do not have a high population density. However, they do constitute an ecosystem of great biological diversity that is under continuous threat from this natural phenomenon.

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