World's largest volcano discovered - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

World's largest volcano discovered

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Scientists believe they have found the largest volcano on Earth, but to see it you'll need a scuba mask rather than binoculars. That's because it is submerged in the Pacific Ocean.

Researchers in the Journal Nature Geoscience say the giant volcano known as Tamu Massif is bigger than the state of New Mexico. It measures 400 miles wide and 2.5 miles high and until now its short, wide shape had kept it hidden within an oceanic plateau in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Geologists at the University of Houston estimate Tamu Massif is only 25% smaller than the largest volcano in our solar system which is Olympus Mons on the planet Mars. It is also larger than Hawaii's Mauna Loa volcano which was previously considered the largest volcano on Earth.

Tamu Massif is believed to have last erupted more than 144 million years ago and scientists say this may be a new class of volcano. They add even larger volcanoes may eventually be found at the bottom of our Earth's oceans.

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