Here’s What Would Happen If Yellowstone’s Supervolcano Blew

Volcanoes have been a hot topic lately. Especially in regards to their ability to swallow and melt defenseless camera drones. But what would happen if a “supervolcano” were to blow? YouTuber RealLifeLore gives us some sense of that nightmare scenario with a hypothetical look at what would happen if the Yellowstone Supervolcano in Wyoming were to erupt. And yes, it would indeed be very bad.

ReaLifeLore recently posted the above palantír-like peek into the Supervolcano’s disastrous potential effects. The YouTuber, who gives “Answers to questions that you’ve never asked,” has performed countless other thought experiments like this one. Including many other ones that see Earth wreak havoc on humanity.

In this particular look at unimaginable catastrophe, RealLifeLore does his best to outline the enormous devastation. As the YouTuber notes, the supervolcano, located in the northwestern corner of Wyoming, contains a magma chamber that stretches 37 miles long, 18 miles wide, and five miles deep. Should there be enough pressure, the “ticking time bomb” would blow with enough force to send hundreds of cubic miles of material 14 miles into the sky.

A simple illustration of the inside of the Yellowstone Volcano.


RealLifeLore goes on to say that lava from the volcano would destroy just about everything within a 40-mile radius of the blast. Major US cities like Denver, Salt Lake City, and Boise would also possibly destroyed upon eruption.

The enormous amount of volcanic material in the atmosphere would subsequently rain down toxic ash; across the entire US, but principally in the Northwest. The ash would also kill plants, animals, crush buildings with its weight, block freeways, and ruin the country’s farmland for a generation.

Visualization of a recently erupted volcano, from above.


In all, the YouTuber says FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) estimates the volcano would do $3 trillion worth of damage, which equates to approximately 14% of America’s GDP. The loss of life, however, would, of course, be the most horrific aspect of event. Which, thankfully, probably won’t happen for at least another 10,000 years.

Feature image: RealLifeLore

Top Stories
More by Matthew Hart
Trending Topics