Mayotte with its coral lagoon

The Comoro Islands

The largest eruption of the 21st century happened at sea. And it wasn’t Hunga Tonga. The Comoro islands form a forgotten archipelago, somewhere between Africa and Madagascar with about 200 kilometer of open ocean on either side. On the African side the nearest land is the northern end of Mozambique, close to the border with…

The secret lives of volcanic islands

Land is precious. The saying goes ‘Buy land – they don’t make it anymore’. We need the land to live on, to grow our crops, to socialise, work, educate, and all other things that makes human life worth living. Even our touch phones won’t work under water. With a growing population, the pressure on the…

Deception Island: the phoenix rises

Volcanoes can hide themselves in clear sight. We may see a rugged hill or a lake, but may not recognize the lurking danger. A volcano that lacks a conical shape can hide its nature from us. Volcanoes are deceptive by nature. That cone with the steam plume at the top may look friendly, but it…

Korean volcanics: the magic of Jeju island

Some nations seem decidedly unvolcanic. They lack the geology and the temperament for eruptions. Take Norway – a no-nonsense nation which prefers a bit of solitude and does not go for attention grabbing. A search for Norwegian volcanoes does come up with some good examples, but these are distant islands which Norway acquired accidentally. Of…

Bawean Island

And then there was a volcano no one has ever heard off. It is on an island that is far off-grid and which takes a 9-hour ferry to get there. (There is a small plane, if you are happy to travel without luggage.) The volcano has long gone extinct. All that remains is this island,…

White Island

The Bay of Plenty is an evocative name. The Bay is sandwiched between the two northerly peninsulas of The North Island. The name includes the adjacent land region, so this is a Bay you can live in. The geyser of Rotorua is world-renowned. So are the adjacent Taupo volcanoes, although not quite as widely publicised.…

Réunion Island

This is a rerun of a post that appeared in December, 2013: the date explains the unseasonal greeting at the start. It was written by Fran. Reunion sits near the head of a chain of volcanic islands in the Indian Ocean, ending (or beginning) at the Deccan traps. Hot spot volcano candy at its best.)…