The eruption of Paricutin volcano

There are very rare occasions when people can see a new volcano emerging from virtually nowhere. Considered by some as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, Parícutin volcano is undoubtedly one of the wonderful geomorphological landscapes of the Globe…

Parícutin volcano was born on a Mexican cornfield owned by Dionisio Pulido, a farmer who saw vapor emanating from a hollow and shortly afterwards, witnessed the beginning of a unique event of a volcano being created…

[February 20, ~4 in the afternoon]…Pulido reported…I left my wife to set fire to a pile of branches when I noticed that a crack, which was situated on one of the knolls of my farm, had opened . . . and I saw that it was a kind of fissure that had a depth of only half a meter. I set about to ignite the branches again when I felt a thunder, the trees trembled, and I turned to speak to Paula; and it was then I saw how, in the hole, the ground swelled and raised itself 2 or 2.5 meters high, and a kind of smoke or fine dust – grey, like ashes – began to rise up in a portion of the crack that I had not previously seen . . . Immediately more smoke began to rise with a hiss or whistle, loud and continuous; and there was a smell of sulfur.

I saw a roughcut documentary of the birth and growth of this volcano around 1948-1950. Sound overdubbed on film probably 16mm Ektachrome or something similar. May have been made from the work of Howard Thompson, though folks who manage his estate say his film records weren’t available that early.

Wherever it came from, it impressed the heck out of me. I was still in elementary school at the time.

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