The Lightning Volcano

by Karina Adams

Topic Question: What came first? Lightning or Eruption?

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What's Where?

In southern Chile, a volcano called the Calbuco Volcano erupted while there was a lightning storm. The volcano was dormant for 42 years and it is only the 3rd time it happened. Lava was sent 4 kilometers in the air. The Calbuco Volcano one of the top 3 most dangerous volcanoes in Chile. It is part of the ‘Ring of Fire’. Some people thought it was the end of the world because there wasn’t a warning about the eruption.

Why There?

This is not the first time that this phenomenon has happened. In February of 2013, lightning struck the Sakurajima volcano in Japan. The reason why there was a lightning storm during these eruptions is simple; the ash and other debris shooting out of the volcano are highly charged, so the lightning is drawn to them. Another factor that can cause this is heat. The humidity can also cause the two phenomenons to happen at once. Also, lightning goes for the tallest things in the sky, and volcanoes are extremely tall. The Calbuco Volcano is 2003 m tall. That being said, this occurrence is still very rare.

Why Care?

We should care because it is a natural phenomenon and we are constantly learning new things about the world and how it works. We need to know more about this type of thing, so that we have a better understanding of the world around us. Many people in Chile thought it was the end of the world because the eruption happened with no warning and because they had never seen this type of thing happen before. We need to educate people on the world so that they know what is going on at all times. If we don't educate people, then they will be living their lives in fear of the unknown and nothing should be unknown when it involves the world we live in.