Mount Vesuvius – Italy

Mount Vesuvius in Italy on New Years DayRAF Spitfires flying around a still steaming Vesuvius after the March 1944 eruptionJ.C.Dahl - Eruption of the Volcano VesuviusVesuvius Volcano - NASA-ISSEdward Okuń - Bay of Naples and Vesuvius - 1937Vesuvius AsterSeismograph on the VesuviusMount Vesuvius - Relief Map

 
 

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

Nyiragongo eruption - 01.2002Nyiragongo - 1994Nyiragongo and NyamuragiraNyiragongo and Nyamuragira (2)Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira - 31.01.2007

 
 

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

Mount Merapi craterMerapi - IndonesiaMerbabu&MerapiMerapi_ash_plume_MODIS_sat_image_10_Nov_2010Merapi_pyroclastic_flowsMerapiFromSpace

 
 

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

Nevado del Ruiz - Almost 2 weeks after its deadly eruption in 1985, Viewed from the northeastEruption of Nevado del RuizSummit after the eruption that caused the Armero tragedy - 11.1985Nevado del Ruiz Volcano, Colombia - NASANevado del Ruiz - 1985Volcanic rocks in the perennial snow - ColombiaRefuge hostel Mountain top with perennial snow - ColombiaView from bamboo plantation

 
 
 

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

The active volcano located about 70 km southeast of Mexico City - 23.01.2001 - NASASeen from Mexico CityPopocatépetl - MexicoCholula PyramidVolcano from Mexico CityPopocatépetl VolcanoSatellite image of Popocatépetl Volcano - NASA, 19.04.2012Popocatépetl - View from San-Matias

 
 
 

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.

Krakatau – Indonesia

Process of the creation of the Anak Krakatau islandEruption of Krakatau, Indonesia - 2008Satellite image of the Krakatau volcano, Indonesia - May 18, 1992Krakatau MapSatellite image Plumes of volcanic ash 17 November, 2010

 
 

Krakatau – Indonesia

 

  • Location: Indonesia
  • Peak: m a.s.l.

 
Krakatau lies between Java and Sumatra, and belongs to the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. We can also find out about it in the last days when the mountain awoke. Its largest explosion occurred in 1883. When the Perboewatan crater threw away a 6 km high cloud of ash, visible from a distance of 160 km. The next eruption occurred a few months later. This time, volcanic dust has risen to 27 km. In the final phase of the eruption caused the creation of four tsunamis high at 30 meters. The sounds of the crash were heard even several thousand kilometers away. More than 36,000 people have died as a result of the explosion and tsunami. These events affected the entire planet, as a result of the explosion the average annual temperature decreased by approx. 1.2 ° C. This year, the volcano has woken up again. After the explosion, a large part of it collapsed and caused a deadly wave of tides that killed over 400 people.

Ricinus communis – Castor oil plant

Ricinus communis - Southern MexicoRicinus communis - Botanic Garden (Frankfurt, Germany)Ricinus communis - Venezuela
 
 
 
 
 
Ricinus communis - Castor oil plant (1)Ricinus communis - Castor oil plant (2)

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.

Colchicum autumnale – Protected and very poisonous

Colchicum autumnale - Jena, Germany (16-09-2007)Colchicum autumnale (1)Colchicum autumnale (2)Colchicum autumnale (3)

Colchicum autumnale – Protected and very poisonous

Colchicum autumnale – It belongs to protected as well as very poisonous plants.

  • Deadly dose: 20 – 40 mg (5 – 10 seeds)
  • Death: to 4 days
  • Poison: colchicine
  • Aftermath: paralysis, pulmonary edema, renal failure
  • Where it grows: Southern and Western Europe
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

One flower contains more than 20 alkaloids, the most dangerous of which is colchicine and its derivatives. Thanks to the appropriate dosage, they can be used for treatments of cancers. Medicinal products for rheumatism, ascites and kidney diseases are produced from wintering seeds. However, if you carelessly handle (for example when confusing with wild garlic leaves), poisoning may occur. Fowl and goat’s milk may also be dangerous. The first symptoms of taking harmful substances appear after 2 – 6 hours after ingestion. At the beginning you can observe mouth burning, vomiting or cramps. Without proper help, a man can die.

Abrus precatorius – Originates from tropical Asia

Abrus precatorius - Leaves and pods, Northern Buton Island, IndonesiaAbrus precatorius - Kohler's Medicinal plantsAbrus precatorius - Saigon Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Ho Chi Minh City, VietnamAbrus precatorius (pods)

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 (1)Conium maculatum (2)Conium maculatum - Germany, 1910

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.