Are you interested in knowing what countries have the most volcanoes? Do you know where the world’s highest volcanoes exist? Have you ever wondered what the Pacific Ring of Fire is? Do you know anything about volcanoes in Antarctica? What is the most populous volcanic region?
If you have these questions, and many more in your mind, then this article is all for you!
Please note the volcanoes we have included in our list are Holocene volcanoes that have been active in the last 12,000 years. Our data is from the Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program. The list consists of the top 20 countries with the most volcanoes. We also got some fun trivia for you.
A Walk Through Countries With The Most Volcanoes
There are potentially 1,500 active volcanoes in the world. We, however, have contained our infographic and article to the top 20 countries with the most volcanoes. Let’s dive in!
The United States, Japan & Indonesia Are Countries With The Most Volcanoes
The United States tops the list of countries with the most volcanoes. As you can see, the country has 162 active volcanoes. Most of the volcanoes are in Alaska — where every year volcanic eruption occurs. Besides Alaska, some other states in the USA with the most active volcanoes are: Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Hawaii, California, and Washington.
The 280,000 years old volcano, Kilauea, in Hawaii is the world’s most active volcano.
The second country with the most volcanoes is Japan, with 122 active volcanoes. Japan is home to around 10% of the world’s active volcanoes. Most of the mountains in Japan are volcanic, attracting tourists worldwide with their beauty and enigma. Hokkaido, Chubu, Kanto, and Tohoku regions consist of most volcanoes. Mount Fuji is a famous volcanic mountain in Japan.
Indonesia falls behind Japan, with 121 Holocene volcanoes stretching along its 17,000 islands. Krakatoa in Indonesia is one of the world’s most famous volcanoes — currently undergoing eruption. Indonesian volcanic mountains are known for their mesmerizing scenic beauty, especially crater lakes. They also possessed great religious significance to the locals for centuries.
Did You Know?
- Indonesian Mount Tabora had the world’s deadliest eruption, with 1815 explosions, killing around 10,000 people.
- Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980 was the most destructive volcanic eruption in the history of the USA. This volcanic eruption took the lives of 57 people.
South America Has The World’s Highest Volcanoes
Chile (91) is the South American country with the most active volcanoes in the region, followed by Argentina (35), and Ecuador (35).
Chile and Argentina also possess the world’s highest volcanoes.
Nevados Ojos del Salado on the Argentina-Chile border is the highest volcano on Earth, with an elevation of 22,569 feet above sea level. Llullaillaco (22, 110 feet) in Chile-Argentina, Tipas (21,844 feet) in Argentina, and Nevado de Incahuasi (21,778 feet) in the Chile-Argentina border are some other highest volcanoes.
It is important to note that all of these volcanoes are dormant except for Tipas.
Hawaii Mauna Loa is the world’s largest active volcano.
Pacific Ring Of Fire Has The Most Active Volcanoes
The Circum-Pacific Belt, also known as the Ring of Fire, is the world’s most seismically and volcanically active zone. It is the path along the Pacific Ocean where many surrounding tectonic plates meet with the Pacific plate leading to more active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. The path is around 40,000 km long.
Many countries with the most active volcanoes lie in this Pacific Ring of Fire. Around 452 active and dormant volcanoes stretch across the Ring of Fire.
The USA, Chile, Mexico, Antarctica, Japan, Philippines, Russia, New Zealand, Papa New Guinea, Indonesia, Canada, and Guatemala are some countries in the Ring of Fire.
Ethiopia & Kenya Have The Most Volcanoes In The African Region
With 53 Holocene volcanoes (only 5 active since 1950), Ethiopia has the most active volcanoes in Africa and the 6th most in the world. The coveted Erta Ale which is in continuing eruption also lies in Ethiopia. Kenya has 20 Holocene volcanoes. Mount Longonot, Menengai, and Paka are some famous volcanoes.
The eruption in Erta Ale started in 1967, and has been still undergoing eruption since then.
Papua New Guinea Has The Most Active Volcanoes In The Oceania Region
Papua New Guinea in the Oceania region has 46 active volcanoes. Manam Island is one the most active volcanoes in South Pacific, which is also currently undergoing eruption. Manam has been reported to have frequent mild to moderate explosive eruptions.
New Zealand also has 24 Holocene volcanoes.
Michoacan-Guanajuato Field In Mexico Has Most Population
Michoacan-Guanajuato field in Mexico has a population of 5,783, 287 within a 5 km radius. The last eruption took place in 1952 at Paricutin volcano.
The Longest Volcanic Eruptions
Did you know that the longest volcanic eruption recorded is 248 years?
The eruption in Yasur volcano in Vanuatu that started in 1774, and still is undergoing in 2022. Similarly, the Santa Maria volcano in Guatemala has been experiencing eruption for 100 years, starting in 1922. Dukono in Indonesia eruption has been undergoing since 1933.
Even Antarctica Has Volcanoes
This may seem weird to you, but it is true.
Antarctica has 19 active volcanoes. Mount Sidley and Erebus are the highest volcanoes in Antarctica. The eruption in Mount Erebus started in 1972 and is still ongoing.
Iceland Has The Most Volcanoes In Europe
With 35 active volcanoes, Iceland has the most active volcanoes in Europe, followed by France with 19. Iceland experiences volcanic activity every four years. Eyjafjallajokull (not a spelling error) volcanic activity in 2010 is still remembered for its huge impact, especially on the air space in Europe (and difficult pronunciation).
No matter how dangerous volcanoes seem, the volcanic mountains still possess great charm and enigma for travelers. Volcanoes and volcanic mountains carried great importance in many legends and religions. Some consider them sacred, while some a punishment. Whatever the myth or reality is, one thing is for sure volcanic activities benefit the environment. The lava provides nutrients and rich soil for vegetation. Plus, much research on volcanic eruptions shows that volcanic eruptions cool down the earth.
Let’s end in a rather poetic manner with this quote, “There’s something magnificent about volcanoes; they created the atmosphere that we need for breathing”.