New Zealand’s Mount Doom EruptsBy Steve Casimiro on November 26th, 2012
Well, not quite. Mount Tongariro, in a remote corner of the country’s North Island, is the next door neighbor to the scary peak made famous in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and it erupted for five minutes on November 21, spewing clouds of ash 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) high and scaring the heck out of hikers in the area. It’s the second such blast since 6,490-foot Tongariro awoke from a vulcan slumber back in August; before that it hadn’t erupted since 1897. Scientists said they expected additional blasts in the coming days and trails in the area are closed to visitors but tourism officials said that in the long run (is that the geological long run?) they expect the mountain to capture trekkers like honey catches flies. Maybe, but in the meantime there are fears about flight disruptions since volcanic ash will destroy jet engines. And it’s hard to attract trekkers to Mount Doom’s cousin if you can’t get to Mordor save on foot. Via National Geographic.
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