Mount Aso volcano, Japan

Volcanoes are a thing of beauty and mystery in the world. Famous volcanoes, such as the one that destroyed Pompei, or, more recently, Mt. Saint Helens, have been capturing imaginations for years. Their beauty is complimented by their violent nature and the threat of destruction they carry. While the science behind them is unknown to all but a few, one thing is certain: active volcanoes are dangerous, as there is little warning before they erupt. Mt. Aso is an active volcano located in Japan, and has been known to spew ash at various times in recent memory.

Mt. Aso volcano consists of five peaks, Mt. Neko, Mt. Taka, Mt. Naka, Mt. Eboshi, and Mt. Kishima. Mt. Naka has an active crater, which continuously emits smoke and erupts occassionally. Formed over the past 300,000 years, there are various calderas that now form the volcano known as Mt. Aso. Eruptions have been continuous for over a quarter of a million years, and some eruptions have been enormous. Contents from an explosion centuries ago is equal in volume to Mt. Fuji and covered an area of six hundred square kilometers. Such a massive eruption surely disturbed the eco-system of the area, and has left its mark on nature even to this day.

Volcanoes are violent beasts, but are also beautiful. Looking at Mt. Aso from afar, its beauty is unmistakably breathtaking. Shooting skyward are 5 seperate peaks, covered in green plantlife and colorful rock formations. The valley beneath the peaks is a river of grass and meadows, giving no hint of the power that is held back by the volcano that is mere feet away. At any moment, a plume of ash and smoke may erupt, blotting out the sun and creating a makeshift nightfall. The beauty of the area is unmistakable, but the threat of eruption always looms near.

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