Volcano Club

Volcano Club only offers one type of membership - and that's lifetime. To become a member send some volcanic themed work to the HQ (volcanoclubhq@gmail.com) and you might get a codename or some other cool shit.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Volcano of the Week #17 - Mount Teide

This volcano is located on the Canary Islands (Tenerife), is Spain's highest point (3,718m) and the third largest volcano in the world. The last eruption was in 1909, despite the volcano's dormancy it is a decade volcano and it is thought that it may erupt at any time soon. The park surrounding the volcano is a World Heritage Site and is the second most visited volcanic landscape after Mount Fuji. Like Fuji the volcanic soils have given the area rich soils and unique plant life. Tenerife has 33 endemic plant species which are thought to be a result of the nutrient rich soils provided by the pyroclastic flows. The habitat on the volcano is harsh and the plants have therefore adapted to these conditions and have semi-spherical forms, waxy coating and high flower production. I am aware that no one apart from me is interested in plant adaptations so I'll start writing about volcanoes, which you would hope is a common interest to people reading this blog.

There are legends relating to Teide, the Guanches aborigines believed that their devil (Guayota) trapped their god of light (Magec) inside the volcano. The supreme god Achaman then fought Guayota and imprisoned him inside the volcano. This story is quite similar the legend of Typhon becoming trapped inside Etna; it's interesting how different cultures come up with similar legends to explain their volcanoes, however I am sure there are many reasons for this which classical scholars could explain to me. 
The island was formed by the activity of three volcanoes going through four stages of eruption which resulted in Teide's current caldera. This is thought to be formed by either the vertical collapse of the volcano or a series of lateral gravitational collapses. There have been many historical eruptions of Teide, one is thought to have been witnessed by Colombus as he sailed to the new world. Teide remains an important symbol to Tenerife and is on their coat of arms (I have written about volcano flags before so it's good to know that there are some). Finally I would like to dedicate this post to my friend Ian Teader whose name is a bit like Teide. 

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