Keep 'em guessing: Crazy volcano names
Eyjafjallajökull! Popocatépetl! Aucanquilcha! Pululahua! Volcano names abound that would leave most news anchors weep to themselves in the corner. Can you find some more bizarre volcano names?
I write the Eruptions blog on Big Think. I've been mesmerized with volcanoes (and geology) all my life. It helps that part of my family comes from the shadow of Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia, where I could see first hand the deadly effects of volcanic eruptions. Since then, I've taken a bit of a winding path to become a volcanologist. I started as a history major at Williams College, almost went into radio, but ended up migrating to geology, including an undergraduate thesis on Vinalhaven Island, Maine. I followed this up by changing coast to get my Ph.D. from Oregon State University. Then I ran a MC-ICP-MS lab at University of Washington for a spell (and wrote for an indie rock website). I spent three years as a postdoctoral scholar at University of California - Davis studying the inner workings of magmatic systems. I am now an assistant professor at Denison University and have projects in New Zealand, Chile and Oregon.
I am fascinated by volcanoes, their eruptions and how those eruptions interact with the people who live around the volcanoes. I started this blog after getting frustrated with the news reports of volcanic eruptions. Most of them get the information wrong and/or are just sensationalistic. I will try to summarize eruptions as they occur, translate some of the volcanic processes that are happening and comment on the reports themselves.
And no matter what people tell you, I definitely do not have a cat named Tephra. (OK, I do).
You can find out more about my research by visiting my website. If you have any comments, questions or information, feel free to contact me at eruptionsblog at gmail dot com.
On advice of Eruptions reader Ekoh, I thought it would be fun to try to come up with a list of the most tongue-twisting and bizarre volcano names out there. I know there are a few out there that I've only typed once (the rest of the time I cut-and-paste), so lets review some recent fun ones:
Eyjafjallajökull (Iceland) - everyone's favorite tongue twister.\n\n
\nEyjafjallajökull erupting in mid-May, 2010.
And people are still talking about the how the ash crisis was handled.\n\n
Kliuchevskoi (Russia) - It doesn't help that it has like ten names to boot (from the Smithsonian GVP):\n\n
\n1994 image taken from STS-59 of a plume from Kliuchevskoi.
Make up your mind already! See a brand new NASA EO image of the volcano erupting on June 6.\n\n
Popocatépetl (Mexico) - Mayan and Aztec names are always fun, but there is a reason that this volcano is usually just called El Popo.\n\n
\nEl Popo steaming away in Mexico.
Aucanquilcha (Chile) - As I've mentioned, I did my dissertation work on Aucanquilcha, so I am especially fond of this one. Typically the first question I would get at any poster I gave on my research is "how do you produce that". Interestingly, I've never been able to find a definition for what the name means.\n\n
Some reader suggestions:\n\n
Skjaldbreiður and Þeistareykjarbunga (Iceland) - You could fill a book with Icelandic tongue twisters.\n\n
\nSkjaldbreiður, a shield volcano in Iceland.
Pululahua (Ecuador) - I would have guess Hawai`i for this one, but nope, it is in Ecuador (along with one of my personal favorites, Guagua Pichincha).\n\n
So, Eruptions readers, what else can you suggest? Remember, we're looking for recognized volcanoes - not random features on the volcano. Bizarre names are good too, they don't need to be tongue-twisters. Post your suggestions here - and links to any info on the volcano too.
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If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.
- A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
- It's part of a project intending to sequence the genome of every vertebrate in the world.
- Conservationists interested in the Canadian lynx have a new tool to work with.
If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.
Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.
Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons
13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.
It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.
But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.
John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."
What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.
Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.
The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.
- The cauliflower is a vegetable of choice if you're on the keto diet.
- The plant is low in carbs and can replace potatoes, rice and pasta.
- It can be eaten both raw and cooked for different benefits.
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