This 754 Year Old Volcano Eruption Is Still Going Strong Today

Volcanic eruption - Mount Yasur - Tanna Island Vanuatu. This volcano is one of the worlds most accessible and is a popular tourist destination in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.

This 754 Year Old Volcano Eruption Is Still Going Strong Today

If you were under the impression that volcanoes only erupt occasionally, it’s time to learn about Mount Yasur. Located on the small island of Vanuatu, Mount Yasur is considered one of the world’s most accessible volcanoes. Continuously erupting for almost 800 years, Mount Yasur is also one of the world’s most active volcanic sites.

The Location

Mount Yasur Volcano, Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Mount Yasur is one of the few volcanoes that continuously erupts.

Mount Yasur, located on Tanna Island, Vanuatu, was first discovered by Captain James Cook in 1744. Known as the “Lighthouse of the Pacific,” the nickname stems from how the volcano guided sailors for centuries while navigating the island. Today, the most popular territory claim around the volcano comes from the village of Sulfur Bay.

Geological Facts

Mount Yasur Volcano, Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Mount Yasur is the result of tectonic plates moving against one another.

Situated around 1,184 feet above sea level, Mount Yasur is considered a stratovolcano. The volcano’s origins are believed to result from the eastward-moving Indo-Australian plate being “subducted” under the westward-moving Pacific Plate.

Continuous Eruptions

Tanna Island, Vanuatu: Close-up of the erupting crater of Mount Yasur on Tanna Island in Vanuatu. Yasur is one of the most active but easily accessible volcanos in the region.
Mount Yasur has been continuously erupting for hundreds of years.
©Paul Harding 00/Shutterstock.com

Mount Yasur is notable because various eruption levels occur every hour and have been doing so for nearly 800 years. Because of the centuries of eruptions, an easily observable crater has long been identified, which makes it easy to get a direct look at every eruption.

Types of Eruptions

Breathtaking view from above of the roaring depths of an active volcano in Tanna. Stunning shot of Mount Yasur spewing out glowing lava high in the air. Volcanic crater erupting and emitting lava
Mount Yasur’s eruptions have a more fluid volcanic lava, which is less dangerous.

While it’s easy to think that every eruption is the same, this is untrue. In the case of Mount Yasur, most of its hourly eruptions are Strombolian in nature. As a result, you have plenty of incandescent lava, ash, and even some volcanic bombs that can jump out of the crater occasionally. Studies have also shown Mount Yasur’s lava is more fluid than other volcanic lava, which makes it less dangerous overall.

Cultural Significance

The eruption of the volcano Yasur on Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Some several tribes and villages claim Mount Yasur as their own.

While the village of Sulfur Bay claims Mount Yasur as its own, it isn’t the only one to do so. The Yakel tribe, another local group living near the volcano, claims the site is sacred and is part of many of its rituals and legends. Visitors to the site will be exposed to many of these legends and learn about the local customs of the volcano’s history.

Very Accessible

CLOSE UP: Young traveler woman sits on the crater rim of stunning Mount Yasur in Vanuatu. Unrecognizable female tourist observing the smoke and ash rising from the active volcano roaring below her.
You can easily access Mount Yasur, which makes it very popular.

What makes Mount Yasur so notable is just how accessible it is to visitors. This is a destination for tourism, but one that can be easily achieved through tours thanks to nearby resorts. Rest assured, there are safety measures to keep visitors safe, but there is almost always something to see whether you go during the day or at night.

Mount Etna

Catania cityscape and the Mount Etna Volcano with smoke at dawn, Sicily island, Italy, Europe
Mount Etna is another volcano that has continuous eruptions.
©Alberto Masnovo/Shutterstock.com

Like Mount Yasur, Mount Etna, located on the island of Sicily, is another active stratovolcano continuously erupting. One of the tallest volcanoes in Europe, Mount Etna is in a near-constant state of activity and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mount Kilauea

A Kilauea shield volcano in Hawaii
Like Mount Yasur, Mount Kilauea also continuously erupts.
©Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock.com

One of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mount Kilauea, located on the main Hawaiian Island, stands about 4,091 feet tall. Like Mount Yasur, it is constantly active and has been erupting since 1983. Similar to Mount Yasur, Mount Kilauea also offers plenty of safe viewing opportunities with guided tours.

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