Can A Volcano Pop Up In Your Backyard?

Volcanos are often depicted as large scary things, but can a volcano pop up in your backyard? Here’s a hint, not all volcanoes are the size of a mountain, and not all of them can bring devastation and panic. 

Volcanos are some interesting formations of land, but it isn’t common to see one popping up in your backyard, but can they? What do you do if you suddenly see a small mound spouting lava in your backyard?

Volcanos are Coming

Or maybe not. Volcanoes don’t just pop up where they feel like it. You have to be on a fault line that is pressing against another. The earth of that fault line moves upward toward the crust this takes years upon years of formation and usually doesn’t move more than a little at a time. So even if you live on an active fault line you’re not likely to have a volcano pop up in your backyard.

The Ring of Fire

This isn’t just part of a song, the ring of fire is a circular ring that can be plotted on a map where volcanoes are incredibly active. If you live on or near this ring of fire, you have a much higher probability of having a volcano pop up in your backyard. If you don’t then it’s far less likely and not something you should worry about too much.

The Story of Paricutin

There is an instance where a volcano popped up, not in a backyard, but a cornfield. It stood at 1300 feet and spewed ash and lava around a small village of Paricutin, Mexico. This ash-covered every inch of the village and forced the inhabitants to flee and seek refuge. This happened in late February of 1943 and is a rare but possible event. This volcano rose up from a field on a fault line after several days of tremors hinting at what was happening. 

Volcanos (Obviously) Aren’t Sentient

A large majority of the time, the idea of a volcano popping up in your backyard is a starting point in an earth science lesson for grade school kids. It’s uncommon to think seriously about a real volcano popping up because even though it is possible, it’s not at all common. In fact, Paricutin is one of the only noted instances of a volcano popping up suddenly in an inhabited place. They also aren’t due to any kind of flooding or other phenomena that may be going on in your yard.

There are so Many Videos Though!

Yes, but these are videos of science experiments. If you click on the videos and articles about volcanoes popping up in someone’s backyard they’re almost always science experiments that have been built in a backyard, some of them even erupt with flames, making them unsafe for the local science fair. 

The large majority of information, short of the volcano in Paricutin Mexico are all for lesson plans and teaching science. So though it might happen, it’s not likely. 

How You Can Be Sure

We’ll take a look at one instance we know of where a volcano did appear where it was not supposed to but it won’t be for some trivial thing like burying a dead pet in the wrong spot. Firstly, Paricutin was on a fault line, otherwise, a volcano couldn’t have formed. Secondly, there were heaving tremors leading up to the eruption. The farmer who owned the land even witnessed a large hole at roughly six feet wide and 150 feet long. Have you experienced any of this?

If the answer is no then you have nothing to worry about. Volcanoes don’t just materialize, they are created by nature, and they have to obey nature’s laws. You will know something is off, especially if you know what to look for and you’ll be able to act if you need to, though probability states that you won’t need to. 

Volcanic Activity

With climate change and a plethora of other issues, volcanic activity may be on the rise. That doesn’t mean you should panic, but volcanic regions could be more prone to an eruption in the current environment. The Hawaiian Islands have been under a lot of attention lately with so many eruptions.

Final Thoughts

If you’re still wondering if a volcano can pop up in your backyard the answer is yes, one very much can, but is one going to? Probably not. If it’s really a point of anxiety and stress for you, look at a map of fault lines in your area, are you on one? If not, then the probability of a volcano sprouting in your backyard is so slim we dare say it’s impossible. 

If you are on a fault line there’s a slightly higher chance, but it’s still quite low. Check your location, are you on the ring of fire? It’s not likely that you are, and if you are you may want to start to prepare. It’s not likely you’ll experience a volcano in your backyard unless it’s a science project, but