Reports of a sudden exodus of bison, deer and other animals from Yellowstone National Park are prompting fears of a super volcano eruption. To add to the fears, the animals’ flight came as a 4.8 earthquake struck the park on March 30.
It was the biggest earthquake there since 1980.
“They detect something vast and deadly,” YouTube blogger Tom Lupshu said of the animals. “The Yellowstone super volcano is the only thing there that would fit the bill.”
Videos posted online show bison running down a highway but it is impossible to tell if they’re leaving the park or not. The Yellowstone super volcano has been the subject of multiple books and documentaries because if it does explode, it would impact the entire United States and North American continent – if not the world. Some say the entire US would be covered with ash.
Some volcano experts and park officials downplayed the migration.
“Those bison are running because that’s what they do every day in Yellowstone,” the scientist in charge of the United States Geological Service’s (USGS) Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, Jake Lowenstern, told CNN. He said the animals in the video are actually running into and not away from the park. “This is the time of the year when bison naturally migrate in and out through the park. … I know exactly where those bison were headed because it’s about 100 yards from my house. They were headed back into the park.”
There is some evidence that animals flee before earthquakes and other disasters. CNN reported that German scientists found that ants moved out of mounds near fault lines right before earthquakes last year.
USGS Burying Truth, Blogger Claims
The Yellowstone caldera is being hit by hundreds of earthquakes that the government is not reporting, YouTube blogger Tom Lupshu alleged.
“There are earthquakes that are not being reported by the USGS,” Lupshu said. “They’re small but they’re right there by the caldera.”
Lupshu said a friend of his is a retired geologist who lives near Yellowstone and had detected the quakes with his own instruments.
Scientists: Super Volcanos Can Erupt Without Warning
There may be no warning of the eruption of the super volcano that is underneath Yellowstone. Scientists at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, concluded that super volcanos or calderas can erupt without earthquakes or any other warnings. The sheer pressure of lava in the dome, they say, can cause an eruption without any earthquakes beforehand.
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“Now we know you don’t need any extra factor – a super volcano can erupt due to its enormous size alone,” Wim Malfait, the lead author of a paper on the ESRF research, told the BBC this year. A super volcano is actually a giant dome of lava or caldera underneath the earth’s surface.
“You could compare it to an asteroid impact,” Malfait said of the damage a super volcano eruption would cause. “The risk at any given time is small, but when it happens the consequences will be catastrophic.”
Yellowstone Super Volcano Is Twice As Big As We Thought
Malfait’s theory is disturbing because the Yellowstone super volcano is more than twice as big as previously thought. Researchers led by Jamie Farrell of the University of Utah found that earlier estimates of the volcano’s size were way off; it is two and a half times larger than earlier researchers had concluded.
The volcano’s magma chamber is 55 miles long, 18 miles wide and three to nine miles deep, Ferrell told the Associated Press. She estimated that there’s enough explosive force in the caldera to create an eruption 2,000 times the force of that at Mount St. Helens in 1980.
“It would be a global event,” Farrell said of such an eruption. “There would be a lot of destruction and a lot of impacts around the globe.”