The World's Most Active Volcanoes

Boring old regular mountains can still impress some, what with their peaks and valleys and jarring stances in nature. But it's no surprise volcanoes are infinitely more impressive: in an act of blatant defiance to Mother Nature and all that is good, they shoot fire and molten lava out of their peaks... not to mention ofttimes sparking insane lighting storms whilst doing so. Still, people love to explore what is inherently dangerous and could ultimately kill them (see: cave diving, bungee jumping, Gathering of the Juggalos), which is why we've compiled a list of the most active and explorable volcanoes on the planet.

pacaya volcano

10. Pacaya, Guatemala
Pacaya first erupted roughly 23,000yrs ago, and was fairly active until around 1865. She blew her lid 100yrs ago and has been consistently flaring ever since; to that end, there are now several lava rivers flowing through the surrounding hills.

volcano erupting

9. Mt. Stromboli, Italy
Named after the delicious Italian turnover (but loaded with super-hot lava instead of super-hot meats and cheeses), this volcano has been erupting almost continuously for 2000yrs. Around 100yrs ago, the island was inhabited by a few thousand peeps, but most of them moved away due to the incessant ash showers and threat of imminent death.

Sakurajima volcano

8. Sakurajima, Japan
This volcano used to be an island, until one day it said "Yeah, right!" and proceeded to spurt out so much lava that it connected itself with the Osumi Peninsula. After assimilating to the "mainland" culture, Sakurajima's been erupting with joy (and lava) ever since.

Kilauea volcano

7. Kilauea, Hawaii
Anywhere between 300,000 and 600,000yrs-old, Kilauea is extraordinarily active for its age. It's the most active volcano out of the five that exist in Hawaii, and it'll still beat you in racquetball. The area surrounding it on the island of Kaua'i is rife with tourism and features the original Volcano House: a hotel built in 1866 that Mark Twain once stayed in, and that guy was hilarious!

cleveland volcano

6. Mt. Cleveland, Alaska
Thankfully having nothing to do with Ohio and everything to do with America's 22nd AND 24th president, Mt. Cleveland is one of the most active volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands. It's situated on the completely uninhabited Chuginadak Island (which is hilarious to say 3x fast), and is the source of heat for a handful of hot springs in the surrounding area.

erebus on antarctica
Volcano Group

5. Mt. Erebus, Antarctica
As the Southernmost active volcano on earth, Erebus reigns as champ of the most underwhelming volcano stat ever. On a more interesting note, an explorer named James Clark Ross discovered the volcano in 1841, along with a second volcano sitting right next to it. Ross had a tough decision -- he wanted to name each of the volcanoes after his ships, the Erebus and the Terror. Needless to say, Ross named the wussy inactive volcano Mt. Terror and the actual-terror volcano Mt. Erebus. Erebus has never forgiven Ross, and has been rumbling ever since.

Colima volcano

4. Volcán de Colima, Mexico
This lil' guy here has erupted more than 40 times since 1576, making him one of the most active volcanoes in North America. Colima is also known to produce some pretty intense lava bombs that can travel upwards of two miles. Yeah, lava bombs -- let's get back to that; it's when a volcano forms molten rock larger than ~3in in diameter and then hurls it into the sky with no regard or intended target. Volcanoes be reckless.

Mount Yasur

3. Mt. Yasur, Vanuatu
Much like Joan Rivers, Yasur's been erupting extensively for about 800yrs now, but that hasn't stopped it from being a sought-after tourist destination. The eruptions can occur several times an hour; to make sure visitors are safe, the local government's created a 0-4 level system, with zero allowing access, and four meaning why the hell are you on Tanna Island?!

merapi mountain

2. Mt. Merapi, Indonesia
A volcano finally worth of its name, Merapi literally translates into "fire mountain", which is fitting when you realize the blowhard releases smoke 300 days out of the year. It's also the youngest in a group of volcanoes situated in Southern Java, so it's easy to understand where all its angst comes from, and even though it thinks the older Indonesian volcanoes don't understand it, they were once just like it. Anthropomorphic volcanoes aside, Merapi is a seriously dangerous volcano, as evidenced in '94 when 27 people were killed by pyroclastic flow, and Snoop Dogg still wasn't loving people.

Erta Ale volcano

1. Erta Ale, Ethiopia
The most active volcano in Ethiopia, and one of the rarest in the world (it has not one, but two lava lakes), Erta Ale suspiciously translates to "smoking mountain" and has a reputation as one of the harshest environments in the entire world. Not only is the terrain super inhospitable, the people that do occupy it are the Afar, and their attitude is A-far from welcoming. HEY NOW! The last major eruption was in 2008, but the lava lakes are in constant flow year-round.