World's Biggest Volcano Found Casually Chillin' Under The Sea

By Chris Mills on at

Ending perhaps the world's most ironic game of hide-and-seek, scientists claim to have discovered the world's biggest volcano, a behmoth the size of Poland that apparently no-one's ever noticed before.

Writing in Nature Geoscience, the team say that the catchily-named Tamu Massif, which lies kinda in the middle of nowhere, about 1,600km from Japan, was formed about 145 million years ago, by massive lava flows erupting from the centre of the volcano. The whole building process took a "geologically speaking" short space of time -- just a couple million years.

Tamu dethrones Mauna Loa in Hawaii as the world's biggest, and is certainly playing with the big boys -- according to the team, it's comparable in size to the Solar System's biggest volcano, Olympus Mons on Mars.

That said, there's not much to look at. Lying 2km below the ocean's waves, and with the volcano's 'roots' extending some 30km below the Earth's crust, I don't think anyone will be offering sightseeing packages anytime soon. [Nature Geoscience via BBC]

Image: Nature Geoscience