Mount Taranaki, a "circle visible from space"

Originally published at: Mount Taranaki, a "circle visible from space" | Boing Boing


Yeah… this is the final joke on the billionaires all moving to :new_zealand:… the place blows up from time to time. Not an ideal spot for a bunker if you are thinking even medium term. :thinking:

Sure, it was 26,000 years ago that the North Island was covered in up to 200m of volcanic dirt, but 1800 years ago Taupo caused global nuclear winter… Auckland’s 50 volcanoes aren’t repeat shows but it’s been 600 years since the last big one and geologists are looking nervously at their watches (although I think those watches have a “decades hand” instead of a seconds hand). :slightly_smiling_face:

My favourite map is the one on NZ’s Geonet site where it’s crystal clear that Taupo is the big event..

Edit: wrong link…


Tom Scott visited

To which my first reaction was ‘What? But they’re letting nobody into NZ now’ but of course, upon checking, I see this was from 2019 - the age of innocence.

But given the power of satellite imagery these days isn’t everywhere ‘visible from space’?


What is it, exactly, that accounts for the darker coloration of the quasi-circle?

In counter-point, here’s a circle that’s only visible from space:

René-Levasseur Island, Quebec


New Guinea has some neatly circular volcanoes and islands:


And there’s this amazing caldera in the Azores:


The idea of “moving someplace to avoid the coming disaster” has always seemed like a fool’s errand to me, since nobody really knows what that disaster will be. You could move to the remote desert or taiga, and that turns out to be the spot where the Manhattan-sized asteroid hits. My boss talks about moving farther north because of global warming, but he could just be moving into the new forest fire hot spot.


time to rename it Mandelbrot Mountain

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Slartibartfast did the fjords, but I forget who did the stratovolcanos.


It is stated in the opening paragraph of the blog post. (My emphasis.)

… the circular national park that it is centered in, where forest ends and farmland begins.

The darker circle is forest, the lighter area outside the circle is cleared land, now farmed.


Well yeah. What i mean is what actually accounts for such a drastic difference in the coloration between farmland and forest? Usually photos of green grassland and whatnot aren’t quite so far off from the green of the trees. Trees are usually a good bit darker, of course, but this seems relatively extreme. It looks like a dark shadow. At first glance i thought it was a gargantuan crater, albeit one with a volcano in the middle. Is it really just a single particularly dark species of tree? Or is it just that it’s typical for photos of this area to be contrast enhanced to show the delineation?

I love New Zealand. It takes a special sort of people to look at an active volcanic area and think “yeah, let’s put a city here”. Rotorua has got to be one of the more exciting places to call home.

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I’m not sure about the photo-editing part, but it is a very dense rainforest. It’s mostly made up of native conifers and broadleafs that do have quite a dark canopy. It’s a fascinatingly diverse national park.

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Portland, Oregon has most of a Plio-Pleistocene volcanic field within its metropolitan boundaries. However, USGS says that the probability of an eruption in the Portland/Vancouver metro area is very low.

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Tell him the hottest place on earth this year was Lytton, British Columbia at 50.2° N latitude . Trying to flee global warming by moving is like sitting in the bow of the boat because the stern is sinking.


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