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Der word volcano derives from ‘Vulcanus’, the Greek god of fire.

With an altitude of 6,071 meters the Guallatiri in Chile is considered to be the highest active volcano in the world. The ‘Ojos del Salado’ on the Chile-Argentina border is 800 meters higher, but experts disagree on whether the volcano is active or resting. Strictly speaking, the Mauna Loa in Hawaii is the tallest volcano: From the bottom to the peak the volcano is an impressive 17,000 meters tall, but it only extends 4,170 meters above the sea level. The southernmost active volcano is located in Antarctica. The mountain is located near the US research center and regularly spews crystals into the air.

The height of volcanoes may change during eruptions. Mount St. Helens famously lost 400 meters in high during its major outbreak in 1980! Other volcano can grow by several meters, due to new layers of ash and lava. On February 20th 1943 a new lava vent opened on the flat cornfield of a farmer. Two days later, the volcano was already 50 meters high. Today the volcano Paricutin boasts a height of 424 meters!

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