Famous Volcanic Eruptions      

About 550 volcanoes have erupted on Earth's surface since recorded history; about 60 are active each year. Far more have erupted unobserved on the ocean floor. Most volcanoes exist at the boundaries of Earth's crustal plates, such as the famous Ring of Fire that surrounds the Pacific Ocean plate. Indonesia holds the record for the greatest number of eruptions, followed by Japan and the USA.

Probably the most famous eruption in the history of the Earth was the one that resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs. Others include  Mt. Vesuvius, Mt Etna, Mt. St. Helens. and the many volcanoes in Jupiter's "Red Spot" (See picture below).

Jupiter's "Red Spot", showing extensive volcanic activity. Picture obtained from antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov without permission

The Deadliest Volcanic Eruptions

Volcano Year Deaths Major cause of deaths
Tambora, Indonesia 1815 92,000 Starvation
Krakatau, Indonesia 1883 36,417 Tsunami
Mount Pelee, Martinique 1902 29,025 Ash flows
Ruiz, Colombia 1985 25,000 Mudflows
Unzen, Japan 1792 14,300 Volcano collapse, tsunami
Laki, Iceland 1783 9,350 Starvation
Kelut, Indonesia 1919 5,110 Mudflows
Galunggung, Indonesia 1882 4,011 Mudflows
Vesuvius, Italy 1631 3,500 Mudflows, lava flows
Vesuvius, Italy 79 3,360 Ash flows and falls
Papandayan, Indonesia 1772 2,957 Ash flows
Lamington, Papua New Guinea 1951 2,942 Ash flows
El Chichon, Mexico 1982 2,000 Ash flows
Soufriere, St. Vincent 1902 1,680 Ash flows
Oshima, Japan 1741 1,475 Tsunami
Asama, Japan 1783 1,377 Ash flows, mudflows
Taal, Philippines 1911 1,335 Ash flows
Mayon, Philippines 1814 1,200 Mudflows
Agung, Indonesia 1963 1,184 Ash flows
Cotopaxi, Ecuador 1877 1,000 Mudflows
Pinatubo, Philippines 1991 800 Disease
Komagatake, Japan 1640 700 Tsunami
Ruiz, Colombia 1845 700 Mudflows
Hibok-Hibok, Philippines 1951 500 Ash flows

Obtained from www.factmonster.com taken without permission.