Science TV Show: If Yellowstone Blew Up, We’d Die, $3 Trillion In Damages Caused

A science-oriented TV show speculated that when Yellowstone's volcano erupts, most everyone will die and will cost more than $3 trillion in damages.

Ellen Fike

June 01, 20213 min read

Yellowstone blow graphic
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A video predicting what would happen if Yellowstone National Park’s “supervolcano” erupted today has generated more than 1 million views for a popular TV show and YouTube channel.

The TV show “RealLifeLore”, which boasts more than 4 million subscribers on YouTube, tackled the topic of Yellowstone’s volcano exploding and what will happen when that happens.

Just so we’re clear, scientists have repeatedly said that the caldera isn’t going to erupt for another 100,000 years at least.

In its video, RealLifeLore explained the timeline of Yellowstone’s major volcanic eruptions, the last of which occurred around 174,000 years ago, creating what is now the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake.

There have been 60 smaller eruptions since, the last of which occurred around 70,000 years ago.

“Before any massive eruption would take place, it would very likely be preceded by a huge amount of seismic activity, basically a warning sign that something really bad was about to happen,” RealLifeLore said in the video.

Seismologists have theorized that there will be a number of large earthquakes occurring before any major eruption in the park.

The pressure in the caldera would continue to build until magma exploded through the ground “in a cataclysmic eruption,” with debris being launched as high as 14 miles into the air. The lava would overtake anything within a 40-mile radius from the epicenter, burning everything in its path.

Debris from the lava exploding from the ground would be shot into the air, with more than 600 square miles of material being ejected into the sky, creating an umbrella cloud and darkening the skies over North America.

“This cloud would rain down toxic volcanic ash across the entire mainland United States,” RealLifeLore said. “Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Montana and Utah will, however, experience the most significant devastation.”

The video added we’d be buried under up to 3 feet of hot, toxic ash, which sounds way worse than the blizzard we complained so much about in March.

Humans, plants and animals would be killed by the ash, and buildings would be destroyed by the density of the ash deposits. Farmlands, roads and water would all be affected by the ash from the volcano.

“What could be even worse, the ash would likely wipe out the entire Midwest’s crop of corn and soybeans and even poison the farmland for a generation,” RealLifeLore said.

The caldera’s eruption could possibly cool down the entire globe’s temperature by 10 degrees for a decade, which would cause a global catastrophe. The video also noted that a federal report said that a disaster like this occurring in Yellowstone would cause $3 trillion in damages.

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Ellen Fike