What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Chaiten? Or Minchinmavida? Or Minchinhuila?

May 2, 2008, 8:38 AM

Chaiten Volcano

The big eruption news today is an unexpected eruption in southern Chile. In fact, it is so unexpected that depending on when and where you read about it, you might get a different answer to what volcano is doing the eruption. What we do know at this point is an eruptive column has been spotted by people on the ground and the Washington VAAC, with estimates of an eruptive column height of between 35-55,000 feet. In other words: pretty darn sizeable. Ash is also coming down in town to the east of the eruption in Argentina. Now it seems that Chilean officials say Volcan Chaiten is the culprit.

The best I can point you towards is the Yahoo! News article which has a nice gallery of images from the eruption.

If you look up Volcan Chaiten in the SI GVP website, the volcano is apparently a caldera system (big volcano with a collapse depression in the center) that last erupted over 7,400 years ago. Mostly it has erupted sticky rhyolite lavas that tend to erupt explosively - which is no great surprised based on early reports of the eruption. If you want a comparison, it sounds like Chaiten might be similar to our own Crater Lake, which last erupted around 7,700 years ago and itself is a caldera.


Chaiten? Or Minchinmavida? ...

Newsletter: Share: