Mount Vesuvius – Italy
- Location: Italy
- Peak: 1281 m a. s. l.
Mount Vesuvius is an active stratovolcano located on the Apennine Peninsula in Italy. It is one of the most famous volcanoes in the world. The cone of this mountain grew inside the Monte Somma massif, whose age is estimated to be several thousand years old. Vesuvius is dangerous not only because nearly 3 million people live in its vicinity, but also because its peaceful period has lasted for a very long time.
The volcano became infamous due to the eruption that took place in 79 A.D. Which led to the disappearance of the cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabie. During the explosion, a huge amount of dust and volcanic gases got into the atmosphere, forming a cloud probably reaching as much as 37 meters in height. During the eruption, a fiery pyroclastic avalanche (a mixture of volcanic gases, ashes and rock crumbs) was produced from the volcano, which buried 25,000 people in one moment. Death was sudden, people were dying mainly due to thermal shock.
The volcano erupted for the last time in 1944 and destroyed the funicular that took tourists to the crater. The mountain spit out lava and hot ashes for 11 days. As a result of the explosion, 26 people died, and another 1200 were without a roof over their heads.
Nyiragongo – Congo
- Location: Congo
- Peak: 3470 m a. s. l.
Nyiragongo volcano is located in the Virunga mountain chain and although its side craters are already extinct, the main one is one of the most active in the world. This stratovolcano is formed by a group of several volcanoes at Lake Kiwu. In the crater there is a huge lava lake, still active. The temperature of the lava located there varies between 800 and 950 ° C, has a thin consistency and flows very quickly. For this reason, the volcano is a constant threat to the surrounding cities.
The most horrible eruption took place in 1977, when lava flowing down the mountainside killed thousands of people. Magma got to the city of Goma, in which she destroyed 15% of the building and killed about 150 people. A stream of lava reached the shore of Lake Kiwu, forming a peninsula. Another volcanic eruption took place in 2002.
According to legends told by local citizens, Nyiragongo is a holy mountain. The natives believe that an enchanted spirit lives on it, which is trying hard to get out of its earthly dungeon. His angry scream explodes in the form of lava geysers and dense fogs.
Merapi – Indonesia, Java
- Lokalizacja: Indonesia, Java island
- Peak: 2968 m a. s. l.
Merapi is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in all of Indonesia, active on average once every 10 years. This stratovolcano is located in the central part of the island of Java. Near the city of Yogyakarta. Despite the threat at the foot of the mountain, thousands of people live. The activity of the volcano is largely due to the slipping of the Australian tectonic plate under the Sundanese plate. According to scientists, the eruptions of this volcano began about 400,000 years ago.
In the year 1006 there was a big explosion that caused the fall of the Mataram kingdom. Almost 60 explosions have been registered since 1548. The most catastrophic eruption took place in 1930, resulting in the death of 1,300 people. Less victims were killed in 1994, when the volcanic dome collapsed.
According to local beliefs, the mountain has spiritual and supernatural abilities. Each year a priest enters the summit, carrying a mountain of sacrifice.
Nevado del Ruiz – Colombia
- Location: Colombia
- Peak: 5321 m a. s. l.
Nevado del Ruiz volcano, already active for around 2,000,000 years, is 130 km west of the capital of Colombia – Bogota. It has many layers of lava hardened alternately with volcanic ash and other pyroclastic rocks. The mountain is part of the volcanic massifs created by five more volcanoes covered with glaciers. Four of them are still active.
The volcano became famous thanks to its catastrophic eruption, which took place on November 13, 1985. As a result, glacier peaks of 25 km² have melted. The resulting lahars, flowing at a speed of 40 to 60 km / h, flooded the city of Armero and several surrounding villages with a layer of mud deep for 6 meters. Only in the city more than 21,000 citizens died (out of a total of 23,000). Losses reached $ 1 billion. The consequence of this catastrophe was the adoption by Colombia of security measures that should reduce the risk of death for so many people.
In September and October 2010, a gradual increase in seismic activity near the Arenas crater was noticed. Over the next four months, there were earthquakes that increased fear of further devastating eruptions.
Popocatépetl – Mexico
- Location: Mexico
- Peak: 5452 m a. s. l.
Popocatépetl volcano lies about 72 km south-west of the capital of Mexico, it is the second largest peak of the country. Popocatépetl is connected by a pass with a height of 3000 meters above sea level. Paso de Cortés and the second volcano – Iztaccihuatl. The top of the mountain is covered with snow and ice throughout the year. Often, over the top, visible clouds appear that arise from ongoing volcanic processes. The highest volcanic activity took place in 1994, when ash and gases covered an area of 25 km.
The Aztecs considered the mountain to be holy. According to their mythology, the volcano depicts a Popocatépetl warrior in which the Princess Iztaccihuatl fell in love. Her father, however, was not sympathetic to their feelings and sent the young man to war. The princess lied to him, claiming that Popocatépetl died in battle. Iztaccihuatl died of sorrow for her beloved. When the man returned from the war and learned about her death, his heart could not stand and he also died of grief. Gods turned lovers into snow-covered mountains. Locals believe that eruptions are the image of Popocatépetl drama – In Aztec language, this word means “Smokey Mountain”.
Due to volcanic activity, the mountain is guarded by the army, and only groups of scientists have access to it.
Ricinus communis – Castor oil plant
Ricinus communis – It probably comes from the north of Africa. It is a 10-meter tall plant that enjoys great popularity in gardening.
- Deadly dose: 15 – 20 seeds
- Death: to 1 week
- Poison: ricin
- Aftermath: renal, liver and spleen failure
- Where it grows: in all tropical and subtropical areas of the world
- Occurrence in Poland: artificially bred
The most dangerous are the bars of its seeds, about 6,000 times more aggressive than cyanide. Causes agglutination of red blood cells and damages the liver, kidneys and spleen. The first symptoms are similar to a cold, followed by headaches, mouth burning, vomiting and internal bleeding. It gradually attacks the entire human circulatory system.
History of the plant:
Castor oil is squeezed from the seeds, from which soap, ointments, drops or perfumes are made. Apparently Cleopatra applied it to her eyes to have a “wider perspective”. In 1978, a Bulgarian secret interview was used to murder the writer and journalist Georgie Markov, who after several days of the fight for his life died of kidney failure in a London hospital.
Abrus precatorius – Originates from tropical Asia
Abrus precatorius – The climbing plant originates from tropical Asia, it is used for the production of rosaries and jewelry.
- Deadly dose: 3 µg of poison
- Death: within 3 – 4 days
- Poison: abrin
- Aftermath: vomiting, bloody diarrhea, hallucinations, renal, liver and spleen paresis
- Where it grows: Asia, Africa and America
- Occurrence in Poland: no
The plant is not poisonous in its entirety, the leaves and roots are edible. The most devious are seeds that contain abrin. A small dose of a substance is enough to kill a person, and the first symptoms will appear after a few hours – problems with breathing, fever, vomiting or severe sweating. Finally, the respiratory system is completely destroyed. Asians are drinking a decoction of the root and leaves as cough and runny nosemedicine.
Conium maculatum – Related to carrots, parsley, caraway
Conium maculatum – Plant related with carrots, parsley and caraway seeds. Its main weapon is the violent poison of the coniine, which causes the man to suffocate with full consciousness.
- Deadly dose: 0,15 g (contained in 20g of the plant)
- Death: within 2 – 3 days
- Poison: coniine
- Aftermath: strangulation through muscle paralysis
- Where it grows: Europe, Africa and Asia
- Occurrence in Poland: yes
Coniine easily penetrates the skin and respiratory system. However, the biggest danger is an easy mistake with the vegetable. At first, the poison has a stimulating effect and then starts blocking the spinal cord’s commands. In this way, muscle paralysis and strangulation occur.
History of the plant:
In ancient Greece and Rome often used during the execution. It enjoyed great popularity among the poisoners (allegedly, Socrates was executed with its help). In Europe, it appeared in the Middle Ages, and gradually disappeared during the 20th century. In the meadows and along roads, it began to grow massively in the 80’s.