The Yellowstone Supervolcano located in Wyoming, US, is one of the most powerful volcanos on the planet and last erupted on a major scale 640,000 years ago. Now one expert is warning that the next major eruption is close. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the chances of a Yellowstone eruption on a yearly basis is around one in 730,000.
With 640,000 years having past since the last major eruption, Yellowstone is edging closer to exploding – but it could still be thousands of years away.
Journalist Bryan Walsh wrote in his new book End Times, which explores the ways in which life on Earth could come to a halt: “We’re closer to Yellowstone’s next super eruption than we are distant, but that day – should it come – is still likely tens or even hundreds of thousands of years away.”
However, when that day does come, there would be chaos across the United States, with repercussions being felt all around the world.
Mr Walsh wrote that earthquakes around Yellowstone would gradually increase in both frequency and intensity as magma rushes towards the surface.
Suddenly, the magma would explode out like champagne in a bottle, covering the region in lava within a 40-mile radius.
That would only be the beginning of the destruction, Mr Walsh wrote.
He said: “Yellowstone as we know it would cease to exist.
“But the true existential threat would come from the ash, lava, and volcanic gasses that would shoot upward with a force equal to a thousand Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs, sufficient enough to reach a height of fifteen miles or more.
If the Wyoming volcano were to erupt an estimated 87,000 people would be killed immediately and two-thirds of the USA would immediately be made uninhabitable.
The large spew of ash into the atmosphere would block out sunlight and directly affect life beneath it creating a ‘nuclear winter’.
However, alarm bells should not start ringing just yet as the USGS reports that the chance of Yellowstone erupting is a tiny 0.00014 percent.