2012: The Year in Volcanic Activity

Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava. In 2012, active volcanoes included Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego, New Zealand's Tongariro, Russia's Plosky Tolbachik, Chile's Puyehue, Italy's Etna, and a new island appearing in the Red Sea. In Hawaii, Kilauea continues to send lava flowing toward the sea, and locals living near Mexico's Popocatepetl continued to deal with ashfalls. Collected below are scenes from the wide variety of volcanic activity on Earth over the past year.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Ng Han Guan / AP

    Remembering China’s Forgotten WWII Veterans

    On September 3, China will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II, but the service of many veterans of that conflict has been unrecognized for decades.

  • ChinaFotoPress / Getty

    Selfie Sticks Extend Their Reach

    The use of a stick to hold a camera at a distance for a self-portrait is not a new phenomenon, but the popularity of the new breed of extendable selfie stick has exploded over the past two years.

  • NASA / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: 8/22-8/28

    Hikers on a moonlit night in Mexico, a massive ball pit in Washington, D.C., Usain Bolt taken down by a Segway in China, a squirrel monkey riding a capybara in Japan, and much more.

  • Abd Doumany / AFP / Getty

    Syria’s Children

    Four and a half years of violent conflict have destroyed entire regions of Syria. Caught in the middle of all this horror are the children of Syria, relying on parents who have lost control of their own lives and are now being forced to make difficult choices in desperate circumstances.

Join the Discussion