A mass grave buried under volcanic ash 1000 miles from the eruption.

RESEARCHERS once discovered a “mass grave” buried under volcanic ash from an eruption about 1,000 miles away and contained the remains of more than 200 species of animals.

A super-eruption.

Yellowstone superolcano has been the source of scientists’ research for decades. It has blown off its top by three historical eruptions and is known as a “super-eruption”. The eruptions were about 1,000 times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens, generally considered the deadliest volcanic eruption in the recorded history of the United States. Yellowstone won’t show any signs before an eruption, scientists regularly analyze the potential effects of an explosion based on the size of previous eruptions to predict.

Death from volcanic ash.

Volcanic ash is made up of tiny particles of jagged rock, minerals, and volcanic glass, sometimes so fine that it can be inhaled, and is quite toxic.


Inhaling large amounts of volcanic ash can cause a person to suffocate, which is the most common cause of death from volcanoes. When people inhale volcanic ash can lead to death by asphyxiation.

To investigate the effects of what happens to people who inhale volcanic ash, archaeologists found the perfect Nebraska case study.

Michael Voorhies, a paleontologist and earth scientist, made a groundbreaking discovery in the seventh century, detailed in the 2004 Nudist Science documentary ‘Super Volcanoes’.

“I was looking for fossils here and came across this piece of volcanic ash,” he explains.

“Right at the bottom of the ashes is the skull of a baby rhino poking out.”


It proves the beginning of a startling discovery as beneath the ten-foot-high layer of ash lies an ancient waterhole – a snapshot from the Yellowstone hotspot eruption 10-12 million years ago.

Filled with the skeletons of horses, camels and rhinos, the waterhole is in a remarkable state of preservation.

One rhinoceros is pregnant while the other carcasses remain with the food of their last meal. This proves they are completely passive for death.


The narrator of the documentary said: “The mass grave contains more than 200 animals. They all died a few days apart.”

Scientists examined the ash and were shocked to discover that it came from an extinct volcano nearly 1,000 miles (1609 km) – from the Bruneau-Jarbidge crater in present-day Idaho, which overlaps the point hot Yellowstone.

Cause of death of animals.

A hotspot is an unusually hot area in the mantle, below the Earth’s crust. The intense heat causes the mantle in that area to melt, and the volcanoes rise, breaking the crust to form volcanoes.

The ashes caused animals within 100 miles (160.9km) of the explosion to die of suffocation and burns in the pyroclastic flow, while animals further away died of slow suffocation when they were covered. in ash.

Their bones show that they died of lung failure from inhaling the ash.


Smaller animals with smaller lung capacity die first, larger animals survive only a few hours or days.

Explaining how animals can die, Mr Voorhies said: “The ash is so fine that it easily drifts with the wind. So it could take six or seven hours for the ash from the volcano to reach Nebraska.”

He added that the ash is so fine that it can get into the lungs of people and animals easily.

Unlike normal fossils, each bone found was covered with a strange white substance – a sign of new bone growth.

It is the classic sign that an animal has died from a rare lung disease known as Marie’s disease. When the lungs fail, the skeletal system loses control, rapidly accumulating new bone on top of old bone.”

That indicates that the animals died a slow and painful death, as their lungs were choked with ash.

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