4
$\begingroup$

I need to eliminate entire human race, by turning Earth into second, world-sized Pompeii. I need the planet to be burned to the very ground, in ashes.

Is this possible at all? Does Earth or Earth-like planet have enough volcanoes? Or -- if volcanoes are not enough -- does it have enough magma or other "eruptable material" (which could be erupted to the surface through some caves (?), drill sites (?), "holes in ground" (?) etc.)? To cover entire planet surface (except oceans) with it? Or with ashes?

Of course, I don't mean covering the whole planet, i.e. dipping all mountain peaks etc. But, I'd like to destroy all "habitable areas" so that human population would be effectively reduced to zero as an effect of just the global volcanoes eruption.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ With a bit of clever marketing, you can get humans to inhale almost anything. So, sure, you could kill most humans with just ash...and make a tidy profit doing so. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Sep 9 '20 at 3:13
4
$\begingroup$

Extremely large volcanic eruptions have happened in the past on Earth. For example the Deccan Traps

The Deccan Traps are a large igneous province of west-central India (17–24°N, 73–74°E). They are one of the largest volcanic features on Earth. They consist of multiple layers of solidified flood basalt that together are more than 2,000 m (6,600 ft) thick, cover an area of c. 500,000 km2 (200,000 sq mi), and have a volume of c. 1,000,000 km3 (200,000 cu mi). Originally, the Deccan Traps may have covered c. 1,500,000 km2 (600,000 sq mi), with a correspondingly larger original volume.

Some scientists believe that the formation of the traps might have contributed to a mass extinction.

The release of volcanic gases, particularly sulfur dioxide, during the formation of the traps may have contributed to climate change. Data points to an average drop in temperature of about 2 °C (3.6 °F) in this period.

Because of its magnitude, scientists have speculated that the gases released during the formation of the Deccan Traps played a major role in the Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) extinction event (also known as the Cretaceous–Tertiary or K–T extinction). It has been theorized that sudden cooling due to sulfurous volcanic gases released by the formation of the traps and toxic gas emissions may have contributed significantly to the K–Pg, as well as other, mass extinctions.

If you just pump it a bit it's plausible that such a volcanic event can terminate human existence, considering that as a species we are pretty high in the food chain.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for an ultra-fast, yet brilliant answer. I'll wait some days to see, if there aren't any new answers here, before accepting yours. But, it seems that you have hit the jackpot and your answer is what I was looking for. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – trejder
    Sep 8 '20 at 13:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.