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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?

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:


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Eyjafjallajökull (Iceland) – everyone’s favorite tongue twister.

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nEyjafjallajökull erupting in mid-May, 2010.

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And people are still talking about the how the ash crisis was handled.

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Kliuchevskoi (Russia) – It doesn’t help that it has like ten names to boot (from the Smithsonian GVP):

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KAMCHATSKAIA GORA
nKAMCHATSKY VULKAN
nKAMTSCHATSKAJA
nKLIUCHEVSKAIA SOPKA
nKLJUTSCHEW
nKLJUTSCHEWSKAJA SSOPKA
nKLUCHEV
nKLYUCHEVSKAYA

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n1994 image taken from STS-59 of a plume from Kliuchevskoi.

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Make up your mind already! See a brand new NASA EO image of the volcano erupting on June 6.

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Popocatépetl (Mexico) – Mayan and Aztec names are always fun, but there is a reason that this volcano is usually just called El Popo.

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nEl Popo steaming away in Mexico.

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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.

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nVolcan Aucanquilcha near the Chile-Bolivia border. Image by Erik Klemetti, taken in November 2000.

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Some reader suggestions:

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Skjaldbreiður and Þeistareykjarbunga (Iceland) – You could fill a book with Icelandic tongue twisters.

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nSkjaldbreiður, a shield volcano in Iceland.

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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).

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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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