When the intense buildup of magma underneath miles of the earth's surface reaches a breaking point, it causes a massive explosion. Scientists call this a super volcano. We prefer to call it The Apocalypse. When this happens, as it has several times in the earth's history, there will be no sun in sight for months, 75 percent of plant life will be wiped out, and any surviving humans will likely starve to death.
And we may be 40,000 years overdue for the next super-seismic catastrophic event. The last super-volcano eruption was 640,000 years ago, on the site of Yellowstone National Park. It made the 1980 Mount St. Helen's eruption look like a hiccup, spewing 8,000 times more ash and lava into the atmosphere. Though scientists believe such a massive volcano would give hundreds of years of warnings before erupting, it's a little scary to consider that the land underneath Yellowstone, gurgling with boiling magma, has risen more than a foot since 1923. Eventually, it has to reach a breaking point; only time will tell when.