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Guest Thinkers

Gambling on a volcano

Would you place a bet on what volcano will have a major eruption next? Well, you can.

Gambling and volcanoes go hand-in-hand?

Somehow I didn’t pick up on this, but people are gambling on volcanoes now?

I mean, I suppose if they bet on the coin toss at the Super Bowl, people will bet on anything. Now, I’m not one to judge the taste in any of this, but here are the current odds for volcanoes to have a VEI 3 eruption:

3/1 Mt Unzen (Japan)

9/1 Mauna Loa (USA)

10/1 Ulawun (Papua New Guinea)

10/1 Merapi (Indonesia)

10/1 Santorini (Greece)

11/1 Colima (Mexico)

11/1 Rainier (USA)

11/1 Taal (Philippines)

11/1 Teide (Spain, Canary Islands)

12/1 Mt Nyiragongo (DR Congo)

12/1 Popocatepetl (Mexico)

14/1 Sakurajima (Japan)

16/1 Stromboli (Italy)

22/1 Avachinsky (Russia)

22/1 Galeras (Colombia)

28/1 Mt Vesuvius (Italy)

28/1 Chaiten (Chile)

28/1 Etna (Italy)

33/1 Santa Maria/Santiaguito (Guatemala)

33/1 Yellowstone (USA)

First off, I suppose Unzen is a decent choice for good odds. However, Santa Maria with the same odds as Yellowstone? I suppose if the cutoff is a VEI 3 eruption, Santa Maria tends to have small events and if Yellowstone has pretty much anything, you can guess it will be VEI 3 or greater. However, the point here is: is it OK to gamble on disasters? I mean, is this like placing bets on what airline is going to have the next air crash? Sure, a lot of volcanic eruptions are harmless in terms of injuries/fatalities, but if a lot of these had a VEI 3, there would likely be casualties. Just have to wonder if people need to read a book rather than spend their time with endeavors like this on the internet.


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