The star of this photo is not Pierce Brosnan; rather, it is the truck, which just drove through two feet of ash and across molten lava, tires aflame.

(Universal Studios)

Lest we move on from last month’s topic, supervolcanoes, without proper closure, I have compiled a list of some resources for your entertainment.

Growing up, I really loved disaster movies like “Twister” and “Day After Tomorrow.”  One of my very favorites was "Dante’s Peak." For years after seeing it, I was always sort of hopeful, each time I turned on the faucet, that the water would be brown, a sure warning that an ash- and lava-filled adventure was just around the seismic corner.

Although, as we learned in April, in real life volcanic eruptions are not nearly as exciting as when you’re Pierce Brosnan.




The Road, by Cormac McCarthy


Quick description: Though the climate-destroying disaster, like the protagonist and his son, in the book is unnamed, a strong contender among readers is the eruption of the Yellowstone caldera. Cue widespread desolation and roaming cannibals.

Lesson learned: Avoid cannibals.

Relevant quote:  

“How would you know if you were the last man on Earth? He said.

I don't guess you would know it. You'd just be it.”


Surviving Galeras, by Stanley Williams


Quick description: Just read the riveting book description.

Lesson learned: If you play with fire, you may get burned. Or a skull fracture.




Brief description: Dismal but dedicated father,  hopeful son. Lots of ash and darkness.

Relevant quote:

Register for more free articles
Stay logged in to skip the surveys

Old guy: “I knew this was coming, this or something like it. There were warnings. Some people thought it was a con. I always believed in it.”

The man: “Did you try to get ready for it?”

Old guy: “What would you do? Even if you knew what to do, you wouldn't know what to do.”




Brief summary: This ‘docufiction’ projects what would happen if Yellowstone suffered a super eruption.

Lesson learned: Don’t live in Wyoming.



Quick description: U.S. Geological Survey dude (Pierce Brosnan) is like, “I think this volcano is about to blow.” Townspeople of Dante’s Peak are like, “Nah.” Townspeople die. Meanwhile, Pierce Brosnan drives through molten lava.

Lesson learned: If you plan to boat across a lake of acid, make sure you take grandma.

Relevant quote:

Townsperson: “What’s going on here?”

Pierce Brosnan: “I don’t know, but you should probably call a city council meeting.”



Quick description: Tom Hanks, sporting a mullet, hates his life and volunteers to jump into an island volcano to appease, um, the volcano gods with a voluntary sacrifice. Then there’s a storm at sea, Meg Ryan and some spectacular special effects.

Lesson learned: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan can find love despite the greatest of obstacles, even typhoons and bad 90s hair.

Relevant quote: “You have some time left, Mr. Banks. You have some life left. My advice to you is, live it well.”


All these volcanos may get dreary, sure. But as my housemate Anna said while we were rewatching “Dante’s Peak,” “At least there are no dinosaurs chasing them.”

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.