Kilauea Volcano

Kilauea Volcano is the world's most active volcano

Weird Fact: The world’s most active volcano – Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii – is non-violent, allowing scientists to study it up-close.

An active volcano is one that has erupted within the last 10,000 years. Though there are many contenders for the “most active volcano” in the world today, most volcanologists agree that Kilauea is top dog.

Kilauea is the latest in a series of volcanic eruptions that created the Hawaiian islands. It has been almost continuously erupting since 1983, making 45 eruptions in the 20th century alone.

Kilauea means “spewing” or “much spreading” in Hawaiian, and that certainly rings true for this lava monster. At just over 4,000 feet above sea level, it continues to grow and expand, with the latest lava ejection in March 2011.

Fortunately, Kilauea Volcano produces non-violent effusive eruptions (as opposed to violent, explosive eruptions) characterized by runny lava flows. This gives scientists the invaluable opportunity to study the world’s most active volcano up-close.

There are around 1,500 active volcanoes in the world today and, like Kilauea, three-quarters of them are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire.