Could An Eruption Of The Yellowstone Supervolcano Destroy The United States As We Know It?

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When most Americans think of Yellowstone, they tend to conjure up images of Yogi Bear and “Old Faithful”.  But the truth about Yellowstone is much more frightening than that.  Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is actually sitting right on top of a massive supervolcano.  This supervolcano has erupted before, and scientists tell us that when it fully erupts again it will destroy the United States as we know it.  So could such an eruption happen any time soon?  Well, scientists tell us that Yellowstone is actually overdue for a major eruption and there are thousands of earthquakes in the Yellowstone area every single year.  In addition, scientists that monitor Yellowstone have been quite alarmed that some areas of Yellowstone have risen by as much as ten inches over the past few years.  So yes, there are some good reasons to be really, really concerned about what is going on at Yellowstone.


The truth is that the Yellowstone supervolcano is the biggest volcano in North America by far.  A major eruption at Yellowstone would permanently change all of our lives in just a single day.

In fact, a major eruption at Yellowstone would permanently end America’s status as a superpower in just a single day.

So exactly what would an eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano look like?

What exactly would a full eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano mean for the United States and for the rest of the world?

Well, the following are 11 facts about the Yellowstone supervolcano that are more than a little bit frightening….

#1 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone could be up to 1,000 time more powerful than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

#2 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone would spew volcanic ash 25 miles up into the air.

#3 The next eruption of Yellowstone seems to be getting closer with each passing year.  Since 2004, some areas of Yellowstone National Park have risen by as much as 10 inches.

#4 There are approximately 3,000 earthquakes in the Yellowstone area every single year.

#5 In the event of a full-scale eruption of Yellowstone, virtually the entire northwest United States will be completely destroyed.

#6 A massive eruption of Yellowstone would mean that just about everything within a 100 mile radius of Yellowstone would be immediately killed.

#7 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone could also potentially dump a layer of volcanic ash that is at least 10 feet deep up to 1,000 miles away.

#8 A full-scale eruption of Yellowstone would cover virtually the entire midwest United States with volcanic ash.  Food production in America would be almost totally wiped out.

#9 The “volcanic winter” that a massive Yellowstone eruption would cause would radically cool the planet.  Some scientists believe that global temperatures would decline by up to 20 degrees.

#10 America would never be the same again after a massive Yellowstone eruption.  Some scientists believe that a full eruption by Yellowstone would render two-thirds of the United States completely uninhabitable.

#11 Scientists tell us that it is not a matter of “if” Yellowstone will erupt but rather “when” the next inevitable eruption will take place.

For much more on the Yellowstone supervolcano and what a major eruption would mean for the United States, check out the CNN video news report posted below….

  • Michael

    Bring it on!


    the general consensus about Yellowstone is that if it were to erupt the USA as we know it would cease to be, the northern hemisphere would suffer a nuclear winter unlike anything we have seen and the knock on effects would be devastating to the human race .

    however eruptions from calderas like Y’stone are measured in the 100’s of thousands of years. the next one could be 30’thousand years from now.

    so im not overly concerned, if anything the Icelandic volcanos that have been rumbling recently are a far bigger concern.

    • nick

      Chi u r retarded it says in the article that it’s over due for an eruption which means soon not 30 thousand years!

      • Ally

        It’s not overdue at all really, and there’s no evidence to suggest that anything unusual is happening. As of 1st June this year the current alert level for the volcano was NORMAL. If you want rely on statistics with just 2 figures then be my guest but even they suggest, with an average of 0.73 million years, that an ‘overdue’ eruption period could be 90000+ years away, let alone 30000. Fair enough it could erupt, there’s a lot of magma down there but most of these kind of articles are just scaremongering.

  • Mark

    We will all move to Cuba and liberate that island.

  • Chi

    Last Super Volcanic eruption was Mount Toba about 75,000 years ago. Fairly recent. Started a new ice age, and geneticists revealed that humanity was reduced to 10,000 to 50,000 individuals right around that time. Yellowstone would not be a problem for america. Yellowstone super volcano would be a problem for humans survival as a species.

  • Richard

    “there are some good reasons to be really, really concerned…”
    Really really?? Wow!. How concerned is THAT? I thought we should be really concerned. But now I see we should be REALLY REALLY conerned. Thanks, daddy!

    • Richard

      wow it is not going to explode!!!!

  • Unfortunately, right now there’s not a whole lot we can do about it, and there may never be any way we can keep this or a similar natural catastrophe from becoming the destruction of technological civilization and a future of unending crushing poverty for all but a tiny skin of elite. If space development hadn’t fizzled out after we “won” the space race by putting some men on the moon, we could have thriving space colonies in L5 that could provide relief services — but our society chose to eat the seed corn, to turn its back on space in pursuit of more and more toys, and all those dreams of O’Neil cylinders and space-based manufacturing have been banished to atomicpunk stories and songs like Donald Fagen’s “I.G.Y. (What a Wonderful World)”.

    Am I bitter? Yeah, I had dreams when I was a kid of space colonies within our own lifetimes, maybe even interstellar travel in a few generations. Now it’s looking like if I ever want to live in a world like that, I’m going to need to learn how to world-walk, or finangle a way to get reborn into a world that made better choices after I’ve done my time in this one.

  • Gary

    We need to tax all of the rich volcanoes.

  • mondobeyondo

    Here’s my tongue in cheek view of America’s future (please don’t take it seriously!!)

    The San Andreas fault will break, and half of California will fall into the ocean. Los Angeles will become New Atlantis.

    The Yellowstone supervolcano will blow, and obliterate the western U.S. Everything from Montana south to Arizona – gone.

    Volcanic ash will cover the entire North American continent. Bye bye, Chicago, Philadelphia and New York.

    Mississippi, Alabama and Florida will be covered by 10 foot snowdrifts in winter.

    There, how’s that for an apocalyptic scenario?!

  • Oh brother

    Pile of BS!!! There’s no such thing as a “super volcano”. It’ll NEVER happen, so why don’t all you CRYBABIES go back to your regularly scheduled news.

    • Keira

      Pile of **********? There is such a thing as a super volcano. Get your facts right. It WILL happen. Maybe not now but in the future.

  • Gary2

    Michael-you next need to write a blog saying “What if aliens attack? would this be the end of the country as we know it?”

    If you are getting short on material I would respectfully suggest you do more on the howard dean entry on your other site and how almost all of the posters agreed that Dean is right and even agreed with me that we need to tax the rich and spread the wealth.

    You could also write about why so many people vote republican which is directly against their own self interest. See the book whats the matter with Kansas by Thomas Frank.

    I get the impression that you are somewhat right of center by the tone of your articles. Is this true?

    This site does not get near as many views as your other site. Maybe you could link them up?

  • A Dodgy Bloke

    Yellowstone gets all the press but if you look at the real killers Toba that caused the demographic bottle neck Chi was talking about, and the Year with out summer in the 1700’s both of those where in Indonesia. There are about a dozen Super Volcanoes in the world most are not watched nearly as closely as Yellowstone, and are capable of just as much long-term devastation.

  • Kerry

    The “11 facts” are flawed on their face at #5 In the event of a full-scale eruption of Yellowstone, virtually the entire northwest United States will be completely destroyed.

    Yellowstone is 800 miles inland from the west coast. “Fact” number six says “everything within a 100 mile radius of Yellowstone would be immediately killed.” and number seven says “at least 10 feet deep up to 1,000 miles away.”

    When Mt St. Helens went off it took forever for the dust to settle on Seattle as it had to travel all the way around the world and Japan saw more Helens dust then some places in Washington State.
    This video here…..erica.html shows our land currents makes an entirely different area then “entire northwest United States” to “be completely destroyed”

    Surely overtime as immanent as a week to a month we’d share the global problems of food shortages and later global dimming and drops in temperature, but immediately we’d be the last to see/feel the effects just like with Mt St Helens.

    I think Chicago should be the one that gets hell when this thing goes off. The plumes and dust fallout would have to be pretty determined to head due west or northwest to get through ALL them currents and two of the worlds greatest mountain ranges.

    This didn’t take any critical thinking to surmise just common sense so I could just be completely wrong.

  • Concerned Reader

    @ mondobeyondo

    Add in continued economic decline, race wars, food and energy shortages, nuclear terrorism, and increased crime.

  • BlackDS

    I love how every single one of your articles pretty much wants people to leave america as soon as possible.

  • Pogue

    Wait, wait, wait-there MUST be some way this is Bush’s fault and the solution is redistributing everyone’s money. I just know it!

    I like this website, and I get the reason for it, but come on, this is like really worrying about the sun exploding in a billion years or a giant asteroid hitting us. There are limits to what you can concern yourself with. Economic collapse, OK, sure. A catastrophic world-shattering event, well, whatever. Who cares? There’s no way to prepare, unless there’s a space ark I wasn’t aware of. Let’s all stay focused on the more immediate disasters we can be scared of…

  • Javik

    The way to stop a volcano from forming is to release the pent-up energy. Cool the crust and the molten rock will re-solidify.

    Basically, we need large-scale high-density geothermal energy extraction and production in Yellowstone.

    The amount of energy involved in the formation of a volcano is probably in the terawatt range, and will result in a massive release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

    If we can tap into that heat energy and convert even a small fraction of it to electricity before releasing the exhaust heat into the sky, we will be reducing the carbon in the atmosphere, slowing global warming, and making use of a plentiful energy resource.

    Yellowstone could well become the energy production capital of the USA, while also helping to hold off a potential disaster.

  • Pogue

    Never ever going to happen-the ecofreaks would never let us do anything that might effect the ecosystem. They’ll demand it be protected right up to the blast, if it ever happens.

  • genxdawg

    If the Yellowstone Super Volcano were to erupt, it would be a world changer. The effects of such an event would be felt around the world, crashing the food supply and changing world weather patterns for years to come. Fact.

  • Billy-Bob Garcia

    Who cares? There is nothing you can do about things like asteroids, supervolcanoes, pole shifts, and Zombie uprisings. So why worry about them?

    • roy

      First off, a deadly pole shift also known as a pole reversal is impossible, while the earth’s magnetic poles can change position, it is over the course of millions of years and is harmless to the planet. Asteroids can be diverted, or blown up, and zombie uprisings are rather science fiction don’t you think? And even if ‘zombies’ started existing, I think we all know how we would be advised to kill them, two shots to the head and it’s done. Supervolcanoes I agree with you on though.

      • Bob

        ya, cause the movies told us that shooting them in the head kills them.. must be true.. lol

  • David K. Meller

    Volcanic eruptions, killer tsunamis, massive Hurricanes and Cyclones, so-called “global warming” and “new ice ages”, Asteroid impacts, solar superflares…

    Clearly, long term habitability of Earth is questionable, to say the least! God gave us eyes, hands, and most importantly, BRAINS! It is time to use them profitably and productively!

    I think that visionaries like Werner von Braun, Arthur C. Clarke, Hermann Oberth, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and Gerald K. O’Neill et al. had some good ideas.

    Explore develop, and inhabit outer space, first on a small scale, then on larger and larger scales until a new Space civilization replaces the doomed Earth–which I think we can say was nothing to brag about anyhow–and even if ONE habitat or planetary settlement came to a bad end, it would say nothing about all of the others!

    Get government and corporate dinosaurs altogehter out of the space exploration and colonization business! Dismantle the UN–which should be dissolved for many other good reasons–and develop treaties and laws which ENCOURAGE homesteading and privatization of space resources and technology–by individual entrepreneurs, and those who work with them, NOT collectives like corporations or governments!

    Privatize space research, space homesteading, and space habitation as soon and as thoroughly as possible, at start hauling @s* either to a comforatable (or at least reasonably safe) space habitat elsewhere, or finding another planet!

    At least then our species–and others dependent upon us–will have a chance!

    David K. Meller

  • tlpalmer

    Sounds like a plan to tax us ever more.

  • David K. Meller

    Dear tlpalmer,

    A plan to tax us is exactly what it is NOT! Taxpayers (individuals, as entrepreneurs, explorers, employees, inventors, and investors) will KEEP money being drained off by governments and their parasitic legal and corporate/banking/ debt pyraminding allies throught the extortion and theft of “taxation”!

    Without TAXATION, governments–and their favored banks and corporations would–and could not have the means to intervene on anywhere like the levels that they did in the past half century! Space exploration, if not beginnings of colonization and habitation, would no doubt be a reality somewhere by now!

    It is precisely the tax funding of space exploration, the aerospace “industry”, and their affiliated robotics and telecommunications industry that has accounted for their appalling stagnation over the past half century or longer. Compare the growth of e.g. aviation between 1903 and 1953, railroads between 1950-1900, or even computers between 1950 and 2000–even when polluted by heavy government and political involvement there, especially through the military–and you see how stagnant space development is in comparison!

    David K. Meller

  • Tina

    Anyone who is kidding themselves that we can simply drill a hole in Yellowstone to let off some of the energy of the molten rock that lies beneath is on drugs! If this so called “hole” were to be drilled, the molten rock below, under unparalled pressure, would try to exit that “hole” all at once. Clearly, with the vast amount of molten rock beneath the surface, The small “hole” would quickly blow up into a very large hole. Still, there would be too much molten rock and further cracks would open up. The end result would basically be that we hastened our demise by doing such a foolish thing. Oh, and to “oh brother” there is indeed such a thing as a supervolcano, let us hope you never have to find that out for yourself by actually going through one, notice I didn’t say “living” through one.

    • Ally

      Tina, actually drilling holes to try and release the pressure wouldn’t work, but not in the way you suggest. Some magma would rise but too slowly, would cool and simply reseal the hole drilled, making it a pointless endeavour.

  • Mark

    Duck And Cover

  • Tina’s lover

    Tina….I love u…<3

  • Pete-st205

    Darn Americans! Everything has to be supersized!! :(


    The last Yellowstone volcano blocked out the sun for about 6 years and reduced global temperature by 5 degrees Celsius, this one could be bigger and cause hunger/drought in america and Canada, you couldn’t fly in a plane or it would kill your engine, America is in bad shape if this happends

  • Elisa

    I wonder if the 20 degrees means Celsius or Fahrenheit? …Since if global temperatures dropped by 20 Celsius, Finland (my home country) would freeze over. :0 We already get -30 Celsius weather in winter.

    Also, supervolcanoes do exist. Hell, even regular volcanoes can cause massive destruction. Anyone heard of Laki before? It’s an Icelandic volcano that erupted in the 18th century. Guess what happened? …The Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico were covered in ice. Imagine what Yellowstone will do if a normal volcano did THAT. -_-;

    PS. Tsunami are also possible in the Atlantic Ocean. Back in the 18th century, Lisbon in Portugal was wiped out by THREE 20 metre (66 ft) tall waves. It’s the skeptics who should stop bawling about stuff like this “never happening”. It has happened before. It will happen again. Deal with it.

  • nick

    At least canada will go with us

  • John Mack

    1. What happened 600,000 years ago when Yellowstone last erupted? Obviously humanity (or our ancestors) and many species managed to survive. That’s an important question. More important than mere speculation.

    2. Here’s a link to the ash fall pattern of Mt. St. Helen’s (west of Yellowstone) when it erupted. Yellowstone is supposed to be 1000 times more powerful in its eruption so the pattern will be worse, but maybe not so worse that some parts of the US will be unaffected.

    3. The US military will be in charge of whatever areas survive. Conceivably all young men and women could be drafted, put to work, fed, housed safely, etc. Small atomic generators, such as are used on submarines, could be used for underground or sheltered living quarters. The US has military bases scattered around the world, and many submarines and ships that could race out of the path of destruction. The military would be able to pull together a command and take charge (under the direction of any surviving constitutional offiers; there should be many, including the President).

    4. Could the Yellowstone eruption cause earthquakes in unstable areas – particularly in the whole of Missouri and surrounding areas, where the worst earthquakes have occurred in the US? The last one in the 1820’s was bad, ringing church bells in Boston, but not so bad because there were no industrialized areas and areas with huge amounts of chemicals to disperse into the flooding rivers.

  • T-Dox

    Why worry so much about this happening when it hasent happend yet? In my eyes this is just a another natrual disaster that is meant to happen for a reason and some how it will work for the best “if” it happens

  • symen

    well! the articles i read is probably correct as the matt chapters 24 explained about volcano and other terrible thing happening. it must take place before Christ return.I am no worried about it because Jesus is in my heart as i accepted Him. Praise Him daily til all good things return that we live with Him forever.The scriptures of all verses are very true and accurate. So Hold unto Him and u will not loose hope. Faith love and hope endure all things amen. and the greatest thing is Love. Christ Jesus will reign with us forever. isnt that exciting?

    • Leon

      dufuq have you been smoking?

  • notaman

    I really don’t care. I am not religious and I could care less if I die tomorrow. Government espionage, overseas terrorism, World War 4, alien invasion, giant meteor striking the earth, supervolcanic eruption. One thing is certain, in my mind I am a free man to do what I want. No one can or will tell me what to do. Maybe Cthulhu or the Krakan will awaken from the deepest depths of the ocean and drown us all into the darkness. So are you gonna cry when the undertaker comes for you or are you gonna accept that death is guaranteed for us all?

    • Judy

      You don’t have to be religious..but you will still face the judgment of God at the end of your life…and the bible says its a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God… John3:3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. revelation 21:But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. There awaits God’s judgement for you after you die….so you better care…and I pray you repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ now before its too late for you!

      • Diana

        Judy, isn’t it saddening to know that there are so many people who do not believe in Christ? They don’t understand that it doesn’t matter whether they believe or not – disbelief doesn’t make God any less real. So whether it’s a super volcano, or the rapture – we need to pray for people to be ready.

        • Judy


        • TheBoy

          The truth is that the science exists whether or not you believe in it. You can worship the magic man in the sky but it doesn’t make it real. Religion was created to explain things we don’t understand. Now science is here and we can finally throw away religion.

  • Good Sir


    Well aren’t you just a bundle of joy?

  • the bible, and few other religous books all tell a very similar story about the final days. even if your a non believer of any faith its plain to see the world is in a mess, Already we are faced with many disasters, war, food shortage, and severe weather disruption causing flooding etc. we are our own destroyers we will and are already destroying the earth anyway so no super volcano or otherwise will make much differance only speed things up.

  • Shayne

    what would happen if all super volcanoes on earth erupted at once would the whole earth be covered in ash clouds? and would the atmosphere evaporate into nothing? would the earth also be covered in magma?

  • Alyssagirl

    Scary. jeez I’m in Arizona will it effect me?

  • the don


  • the don

    omg!!!! this is soo scary

  • Sam

    But none of this is true….and this is a conspiracy website…each eruption has resulted in less and less magma being spewed into the atmosphere

  • jaydon

    it sounds prettty scary we probubly have oproximently 140,000 years left

    • CharlieSeattle

      The eruption is overdue now!

  • Jimbo

    Your mama

  • Jimbo


  • chloe


  • bumpkin

    It will not necessarily completely destroy the PNW, either, depending upon the wind at the time. Ash floats in the clouds and sky for several days, as well as falls to earth- the heavier particles, and if the Pacific ocean decides to blow up a storm, it will direct the ash cloud eastward. That is a BIG ‘if’, however. Buy a box of N-100 masks, and stay indoors if it blows. And pray like you never have prayed before.