What are the tallest volcanoes on Earth? How many active volcanoes are in the US? What to know


More than 1,000 active volcanoes around our planet can sputter glowing lava and smoky ash, and the world’s biggest one has erupted in Hawaii after 38 years dormant.

The largest active volcano in the world is Mauna Loa, among the five volcanoes that make up Hawaii’s Big Island. The volcano, rising 13,679 feet above sea level, began erupting late Sunday and prompted officials to warn residents of a worst-case scenario and possible evacuations, according to a USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. 

Mauna Loa is significantly shorter than the tallest volcanoes on Earth by height from sea level. But in terms of volume, Mauna Loa and fellow Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea, which both have immense size below sea level, are considered the largest volcanoes in the world, according to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. 


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