Volcano Legends

By: Lauren and Rachel

What are various legends about how volcanoes function?

What is a Volcano?

A volcano is a vent or crater on the planet that comes from the mantel it can be creatived by hot spots, divergent boundaies or convergent boundaries. It is like a mountain or hill which has had or contains lava, rock pieces, gas, and hot vapor.

Where Are Volcanoes Formed

Convergent Boundries

Volcanoes form on Convergent boundaries when an oceanic and a continental plate are pushed together, forcing the more dense plate (oceanic) under the less dense plate (continental). The oceanic plate which is soaked full of water subducts underneath the continental plate. The rocks and water from the oceanic plate heat up from the core's heat and are forced upward, creating a mountain like shape appearing on the surface of the continental plate. The steam and hot rocks (lava) get forced up creating a volcano.

Divergent Boundries

A divergent boundary is a place where convection currents push up lava up through the Earth's crust. The lava eventually hardens creating new land, slowly pushing the two plates apart. This process is called sea floor spreading, which is basically a really slow lava flowing volcano. An example of a divergent boundary is the Mid Atlantic Ridge. The Mid Atlantic Ridge is the largest divergent boundary on Earth.

Hot Spots

Hot spots are certain places in the mantle or oceanic lithosphere where rocks melt to make magma. When a hot spot is in the oceanic lithosphere shield volcanoes are built. The Hawaiian hot spot is an example it has been active for about 70 million years it has produced a chain of volcanoes that extends 3750 miles. Hot spots can cause volcanoes to form, when plates move over hot spots volcanoes spring up then die down most of the time creating island chains.

Greek Volcano Legend

The legend of Zeus and the typhon

One day a long time ago after the glorious victory of the Olympian gods agents the Titans, mother earth (Gaea) was mad at Zeus because she thought that he had treated he sons, the Titans fairly. So Gaea went to Tartarus (the god of the underworld) to make a horrible, terrifying monster to destroy Zeus and take his place. They then named if Typhoeus (Typhon). The Typhon was hideous and was extremely powerful. He drooled lava and spat fiery rocks.

After he was created he soon attacked the home of the gods, flaming rocks at it, hissing, screaming and gushing streams of fire from its mouth. Zeus went up to the Typhon and he struck him with lightning and thunder chasing the monster up Mt. Casion. Zeus saw that the Typhon was very wounded so he started fighting the monster hand to hand, but then Typhon wrapped Zeus in his “arms” and held him tight and wrestled the lightning bolt out of Zeus’s hands. Then the monster ripped out Zeus’s tendons to his hands and feet. Zeus was captured and taken into the Corycian cave. The Typhon appointed his sister Delphyne (half beast and half maiden).

However, Hermes the son of Zeus managed to put the back into Zeus without being seen. Zeus gained his strength and immediately descended back up into the heavens. On his way he struck the Typhon and took the enormous Mt. Aetna on top of the beast pinning him underneath trapping him there forever. That was the day when Mt. Aetna became an erupting volcano. Every time that volcano erupts it is the Typhon drooling lava and spitting lava rocks.

Legend of Ixtaccihuatl and Popocatepetl

Ixtaccihuatl and Popocaterpetl

Long ago, when Aztecs arrived in the valley of Anahunc, before the mountains had reached their permanent forms there was a beautiful princess named Mixtli. A bad man named Axooxco wanted to marry her but she was in love with a peasant named Popoca. Popoca had to go into battle to prove himself worthy if he wanted to marry Mixtli. When Popoca went into battle Mixtili wrongly heard that he had died. She didnt want to live without Popoca so she killed herself. Later, when Popoca returned from battle he found her dead. So Popoca carried her into the mountains hoping that the cold snow there would wake her. Popoca stayed there watching her waiting for her to wake. They have both been there ever since. It is said that the body of Mixtli has become the volcano Ixtaccinuatl which means the sleeping women. It is also said that Popoca has become the volcano Popocatepetl which is right by Ixtaccinuatl.


Pele is the Hawaiian Goddess of Volcanoes. Legends say that some eruptions were caused by Pele. Pele sometimes had moments of anger. Pele was both honored and feared (Pele often comes up in Hawaiian songs and chants. Pele could cause earthquakes just by stomping her feet. She could also cause eruptions by digging with her magic stick called the Paoe. Once Pele had a big fight with her older sister and that ended up creating a chain of volcanoes that form the islands.There is a volcano called Kilauea. Kilauea is located on the south side of Hawaii. It is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. Kilauea is about 4,200 feet tall at its highest point. It is said that Kilauea is the home of Pele.


We researched the question What are different legends of volcanoes? In our presentation you should have learned about 3 different volcano legends, the legend of Zeus and the typhon, the legend of Ixtaccihuatl and Popocatepetl and the legend of Pele. We have learned a lot about different cultures and what there beliefs were. We also learned how different cultures think and how it differs from what we know now. Today we think science. Like hot spots, convergent, and divergent boundaries. We think that those thinks cause volcanoes to be made. Not what the people along time ago thought with things like people or monsters were the cause of volcanoes.