The eruption of Parícutin volcano on a farmer’s cornfield, 1943

There are very few occasions when people can see a new volcano erupting from virtually anywhere. Considered by some as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, the Parícutin Volcano is undoubtedly one of the amazing geomorphological landscapes of the globe.

Its name is Purepecha or Tarascan language, which means "on the other side," the birth of this volcano in the twentieth century revealed the Amazon secrets of the deep Earth.

The Parícutin Volcano was born on a Mexican cornfield owned by Dionisio Pulido, a farmer who witnessed vapor emanating from a hollow and, soon afterwards, witnessed the beginning of a unique volcano formation.

The first morphological feature associated with the birth of the Parícutin volcano was probably the formation in August 1942 of a small depression around a pre-existing crater 5 m (16 ft) in diameter and 1.5 m (5 ft) deep in Dionisio Pulido's cornfield.

Fifteen days before the actual birth of the volcano on 20 February 1943, high seismic activity, underground noise and tremors were recorded in the Sun Juan Parangaricutiro area. The eruption began at around 4:00 pm local time on February 20, 1943, and Dionysio Pulido and his family were the first witnesses.

During that day, he and his family were working, clearing their land to prepare for spring planting. Suddenly the nearby ground moved upwards and a crack formed between 2 and 2.5 meters.

They reported that they heard a rotten egg-like smell and smoke, indicating the presence of hydrogen sulfide. Within a few hours this crack will develop into a small pit.

Pulido recounts: At 4 p.m., I left my wife to set fire to a pile of branches when I noticed that a crack, located on a mound of my farm, had opened. , , And I saw that it was a kind of crack whose depth was only half a meter.

And I wanted to burn the branches again, that thunder arose, and the trees trembled, and turned to talk to Paula; And then I saw how, in the hole, the ground swelled and raised itself 2 or 2.5 meters high, and a kind of smoke or fine dust - gray, like ash - began to rise up into a part of the crack I had previously had not seen. , , with hissing or whistling immediately and the smoke began to rise, loud and persistent; And the smell of sulfur was coming.

He tried to find his family and the oxen but they had disappeared; So he rode on his horse to the city, where he was glad to see his family and friends alive. Thereafter the volcano developed rapidly and furiously.

Celedonio Gutierrez, who witnessed the eruption on the first night, reported: ... When night began to fall, we heard noises like ocean waves, and red flames of fire rose into the dark sky, some 800 meters or more above Got up The wind, which bursts like golden lilies, and the rain falls on the ground like fireworks.

During the volcano's nine years of activity, scientists have sketched and mapped it and taken thousands of samples and photographs. By 1952, the eruption had left a 424-metre-high (1,391 ft) cone and caused considerable damage to an area of ​​more than 233 square kilometers (90 sq mi) with the ejection of boulders, volcanic ash and lava.

Three people were killed, two towns were completely evacuated and buried by lava, and three others were badly affected. Hundreds of people had to be relocated permanently, and two new cities were built to accommodate their migration.

Despite the ongoing World War II, the explosion attracted attention from around the world, with journalists from newspapers and magazines including Life coming to cover the story. Actually, the pictures collected here are part of Life magazine's collection.

The volcano has become a tourist attraction with the main access at Angahuan, from where the volcano is clearly visible. The city provides guides and horses, both for visiting the ruins of the San Juan Parangaricutiro Church, as well as climbing the volcano.

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