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Was the movie Supervolcano sending a message?

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posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 01:43 AM
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After watching the movie Supervolcano five times now (god bless DVR) I have grown to wonder whether the movie was designed to send a message or not. Let me explain why I say this and what I think the message is.

As most all of you know it has been over 600,000 years since Yellowstone last had a super eruption. It has only been since the early to mid 1900's that we even knew that there is/was a volcano there. It wasn't until around 1980 that we knew how big. Our knowledge of the existance of the geothermal features in the area can go back absolutely no more than 250 years and I am being VERY generous with that number. I'd bet it is more like half. Does anyone even want to being to guess when we started scientific research there? I believe it was in the 90's or perhaps closer to the year 2000 that the volcano observatory opened in Yellowstone (i might be wrong on the years but I don't think so.). Basically our knowledge of this place is extremely limited.

Now what do have to compare it to? Nothing in reality. We have no idea what "ready to erupt" means for a caldera type system like this. We can guess but we really don't know. We don't know what the park was like 300 years ago. We don't know how much uplift there has been beyond 100 years. We may or may not be at the end of the uplift phase. We don't know how extreme the geothermal activity has to get to signal an impending eruption. Will it get worse? Or is it as bad as it gets? Find any place on the planet that has activity that compares. I doubt you will find it.

In the past few years there has been all kinds of activity as you have seen noted in the movie. There was a significant earthquake swarm in the park as recent as last April I believe. Something in the order of 500 quakes. Now things have gotten very quiet. Why? Has the work been completed? If there is no more rock to break then that would mean a great reduction in quakes. Would we actually know if they were picking up harmonic tremors? Probably not. I find it unlikely that we would ever be told. This would be for basically the reasons given in the movie. Panic. Civil unrest. It would be total chaos and a break down of society. Lets face it there really isn't much you can do besides ride it out. Where are you going to move countless millions of people? You'd have probably 100 million people trying to evacuate 2/3rds of the US. It just isn't managable.

IF this sort of thing were to happen I think there would be value in putting out a movie like Supervolcano. Now where is what I think the message is.

In the movie they try and lead people to believe the eruption will be a Mount St. Helens size. Something on the order of a VEI 5. They let you know it will need to have enough food and water for 3 days. They cover in details the zones, how much ash, what the ash will do. How it effects electronics. How the weight can collapse a roof. They tell you how harmful it is if inhaled. You are given visual tips on how to protect yourself. Then they go into what happens with the VEI 8. They let you know 7 to 9 days of eruption. Then how many weeks it will take before supplies can be airlifted. You are given information about walk-to-life. It is telling people that no one will come to you and that you have to come to them.

I am sure it is me being a bit paranoid but it did cover quite a bit of information. And lets face it who here really knows what to do in the event of ANY volcanic eruption? Most people in the US have never had to deal with it. As long as I can remember in my life there has been only one active volcano and that is St. Helens. Unless you have lived in the footprint of an active volcano you would have no clue. This just got the message out to millions of people what to do in the event of a Yellowstone eruption.

Please chime in with your thoughts on this. All thoughts are welcome. Pro and Con. Doesn't matter. Lets hear it.




posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 01:52 AM
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I agree our knowledge of Yellowstone as a supervolcano is extremely limited. Modern humans have never even witnessed a supervolcano eruption much less scientifically with modern instruments, so we really have no idea what type of signals they would give off before erupting, if any.

That said, doomsday films and documentaries are standard fare...there have been swarms of them focused on one issue that pop up from time to time including massive California quakes that utterly destroy the U.S. west coast and devestating asteroid impacts. Neither of these have come to pass yet and clearly the documentaries hyping these scenarios were not a signal.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 01:54 AM
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Its not so much that it hyped an event because as you have mentioned those movies are pretty common. What I found to be more uncommon was all the tips floated on how to survive an event like that. How long the event will last. What the hazards are. What to do afterwards. It was like a FEMA checklist.


Ugh... movies like 10.5, Category 6: The Day of Destruction, etc all send the wrong messages. Movies like that are garbage in my opinion.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 02:05 AM
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The movie did certainly have a different flavor to it than the average doomsday show...I think it was made by the BBC so that may have something to do with it.

Maybe you're right though and someone is trying to send a message...I really don't know.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 02:11 AM
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I saw the movie last night, and we also had a documentary that explaied the science and the truthfullness behind the whole supervolcano concept... the differentce between supervolcano and say deep impact or any of those end of the world movies, is that supervolcano is based alot on fact...

I think these types of movies are made to heighten awareness that we do not have control over out planet and civilisation is a fragile thing...



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 02:58 AM
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Well I guess since this got moved to "Movies" then its safe to discuss other aspects of it. I thought it was interesting the way it started out. Basically letting you know from the beginning what the ending was going to be like. It let you know that the good guys weren't going to do something impossible and stop the eruption. The movie was very well researched. Unlike lets say... The Day After Tomorrow. I hope we never have to use what we learned from the movie.



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