Scientists are keeping a special eye on these beautiful but deadly volcanoes


merapi volcano

Wikimedia Commons/Brigitte Werner

Aerial view of Mount Merapi volcano and six other volcanoes on the island of Java, Indonesia.

Volcanic eruptions have sculpted the landscape, buried cities and reshaped the course of history.


When volcanoes blow their tops, they can do so without warning - and with devastating consequences.

In 1996, a leading international volcanology group identified more than a dozen volcanoes that are particularly deserving of study because they have a history of large, destructive eruptions, are close to populated areas, and could erupt again in the near future.

Many of these volcanoes remain active today, and could wreak havoc on communities that live in their shadow.