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.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Volcano of the Week #24 - Popocatepetl

I realise that this is actually the first volcano of the week that I've done all year making Popocateptl the volcano of the year! Yay congratz! lolz! etc... This is appropriate as Popocateptl has very much been the most active volcano of the year apart from maybe Etna (but @IAmMountEtna, so we've covered that base) unless I'm forgetting another big eruption this year. Which is likely as it's already May- Fuck where has this year gone- oh yeah I remember. Back to Popo (which is what Popocateptl lets you call him when you're friends, but he's not that great a friend- bit moody), the wiki entry is a bit short so I might just make some stuff up - that's just me covering my back in case someone tells me my information is incorrect.

Popo is around 70km southeast of Mexico City, part of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt and 5,426m tall. The volcano used to be covered in glaciers however these became extinct in 2001. The crater is a massive 400x600m, the volcano formed around 730,000 years ago. During the last 20 years or so Popo has become very active and since 1993 one can almost constantly see smoke rising from the crater. In April this year Popo had a pretty large eruption and covered a lot of the surrounding area in ash, in some places up to 7cm thick (reminds me of my old living room). And has continued to do this for about a month, putting the area on alert, an eruption is of particular concern due to the proximity to Mexico City. Thank to this site one of my new hobbies is watching volcanoes on webcams and here is Popo if you wanna check what it's up to.

There are a lot of cool legends about Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, which is a lady mountain north of Popo and I'm not just gendering volcanoes- they're in the stories. What Wikipedia is telling me is that there are three versions of the legend- however I'm sure there are many others. The first (which is a bit Romeo and Juliet) is that Popo went to war under the instruction of Izta's (to he was betrothed) father. As Izta's dad was unhappy about the union he told Izta that Popo had died in battle and Izta died of grief when Popo heard this he lay down beside Izta and killed himself. They were both covered in snow and then turned into mountains and Popo is the volcano because he's angry. In the next version, which is very like the Ruapehu, Tongariro, Taranki volcano story, Popo and Izta are engaged however Xinantecatl (Nevado del Toluca) wants to get it on with Izta. So Xina and Popo have a massive fight and Popo ends up throwing a massive stone and decapitating Xina.

The final one is that Izta was the daughter of the Emperor and Empress of Tenochtitl├ín (Mexico City) and she loved Popo who was the leader of a tribe. One day Popo and tribe went off to battle and one day a warrior who hated Popo (who told him he wore crap shirts when he was on TV or something) sent a message to the Emperor that Popo had died in battle. Izta was very upset and became ill and died through sadness, when Popo came back the Emperor told him Izta had died. Popo carried Izta a long way and then made a funeral table, he then died of sadness watching over Izta, the gods were moved and turned them into mountains, the volcano stills smokes to let us know he is looking over Izta. 

Hopefully it'll less than 6 months before I do another volcano of the week as writing that was fun.

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