A Matter of Scale

The Earth will kill you.

This green field beckons. People seem to have a hardwired affinity for green. This particular patch is deceptively huge. There are herds of elk roaming down there that look like ants from there I was standing. In fact, the meadow is fourteen miles in diameter.

Here’s the thing. You are actually looking at a fourteen mile wide caldera – the mouth of a volcano. One day about a million years ago the volcano began a series of eruptions that filled the air with material equivalent to 500 Mount St. Helens. Some of this material has been found as far away as Kansas.

That’s all I have to say about Valle Grande. I was impressed by the idea of such a huge volcano and the unimaginable ferocity of its eruption.

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