The Yellowstone Super Volcano and the End of the World (A Scientific Exploration of Why Life is Meaningless and How We'll All Be Dead Soon)
Did that title scare you? Good. That means I’ve already done half of my job as someone who posts blogs on the internet.
Now for the other half, which is sidestepping the fact that this title is complete hyperbole and explaining why you actually have no legitimate reason to be worried. Are you still kinda scared? Don’t worry, we’re all in this together* so let’s hold hands and absorb some cold hard facts.**
But what does “overdue” really mean? Technically I’m overdue for a physical with my doctor by roughly 2.5 years, but that doesn’t mean my appendix is gonna explode at any moment. Besides, my appendix really could explode at any moment regardless of whether or not I’ve had a physical, so what’s the point? This scintillating analogy is a perfect parallel to the Yellowstone Supervolcano (you’re welcome). There’s nothing we can do to stop its inevitable eruption, so why bother talking about it at all?
I’ll tell you why, because knowing that a super volcano could erupt at any moment and render all other aspects of our lives meaningless makes you live in the moment. The grass looks greener, the birds sing sweeter, and that essay you were supposed to write for you 8am on Monday seems a little less important now, doesn’t it?
But technically things wouldn’t be over in an instant. The world wouldn’t end, it would just get a lot shittier. If the Yellowstone Supervolcano were to erupt, the problem wouldn’t necessarily be the magma or just the force of the explosion. Rather, the most destructive aspect of an eruption would be the resulting gigantic ash cloud that would cover a 500 mile radius of the eruption site with 4+ inches of ash.
The good news is that scientists believe they’d be able to detect an eruption weeks or even years in advance. So there’d be plenty of time for you to loot and riot to your heart’s content. And I do think there’s a silver lining in all of this. I believe America needs a good ash and sulfur bath, something to bring us back to reality.
In a world where 99% of our news coverage is either about two awful presidential candidates or about a backup QB sitting during the national anthem, it might be refreshing to have an actual “end of days” news cycle. All those “I’m moving to Canada if so-and-so gets elected” tweets would turn into “I’m moving to Canada because my house is covered in ash and now it’s really fucking cold here in California.”
If this scenario doesn’t at least interest you, I need you to check your pulse. On a post week 1 of NFL Monday morning, the thought of complete anarchy and riots in the street may be the only thing getting me through the day. I’m not sure if that’s a sign of an unhealthy mental state and precursor to complete breakdown, so maybe I do need to see a doctor.
*Credit: “High School Musical,” 2006
**Credit: Coors Light, as cold as the RockiesTM