Editorial on our April fool’s Joke

Mount Cleveland erupting photographed from the ISS. Image belongs to NASA/JPL and is from the Wikimedia Commons.

Mount Cleveland erupting photographed from the ISS. Image belongs to NASA/JPL and is from the Wikimedia Commons.

Pretty much all of the US has by now noticed our small little April fool’s joke. Why now you might ask? Well, let us start at the beginning.

The readers and commentators at Volcanocafé are as a crowd a highly intelligent and very knowledgeable group. Since the onset of Volcanocafé we have published a bogus report on some extremely unlikely volcano that either is about to erupt, or is erupting, every April first. The only problem is that our readers are so fantastic that we have to place the level high to fool them for even a split second.

As such this year’s Aprils joke was a failure. It took about a minute for our regular readers to see through the joke. There was also a hidden clue in the piece that anyone with a high degree of geological knowledge could find and call us on our bluff.

In the end it was not that hard, this was April first, the article was tagged April 1st, and to really top it off we chose the least volcanic area on the planet. So, nobody should have been fooled in the long run.

Enter those who Dream Dark Dreams of Destruction and their Prophet Steve Quayle. For those who do not know about Steve Quayle he is a syndicated radio talk show host who sprouts nonsense about doomsday and conspiration theories.

Steve Quayle. The image is from disclose TV and the show True Legends with Steve Quayle. It is used under European Common Law as fair usage by a non-profit organisation.

Steve Quayle. The image is from disclose TV and the show True Legends with Steve Quayle. It is used under European Common Law as fair usage by a non-profit organisation.

Steve Quayle or his staff seems to like our not so little site for reasons that are rather unfathomable for us who write and edit Volcanocafé. After all we try to go to painstaking lengths to fact check our articles and present scientific facts as they are without any agenda whatsoever except our shared love for volcanoes. In other words, we are about as far away as it is possible to be from a nibiruist such as Steve Quayle. Two times before he has used our site as a source in his shows on things volcanic and that probably improved his program quality quite a bit. But this time he forgot what date it was, and did not even bother with reading the first comment, nor the taglist.

For him the result was tragicomic. In his usual style he proclaimed the doom and gloom as the northern part of the world would suffer tremendously after the Lake Dellen Supervolcano erupted. So far it was just sloppy work from him and his staff. What followed is a travesty.

The larger syndicated networks started to pick up on Steve Quayles “breaking news”. So, the US citizens were duly informed about the end of the world as they drank their morning coffee. Not bad for a popular science blogzine, or whatever now we should call ourselves. We are soon 3 years old and we do not even know what to call ourselves…

Afterwards we have had people complaining about the joke and saying that we should have written clearly that it was an April Fool’s joke. It is not a joke if you have to tell people it is one. The intention is to fool you in an amusing way.

Will we as a very serious popular science site continue with publishing pranks? No and yes. We will continue with our April Fool’s tradition if we feel like it, and we do feel like it. It is hellishly fun to write something untrue when you spend 364 days writing the scientific truth as well as it ever can be done. It is even more fun when we can bamboozle the arse out of Steve Quayle. He really made my year.

Something that should be known about our readers, they are not an elitist crowd, they come from all walks of life and the majority is not working as professional scientists. But they all share a love for science and a deep-rooted understanding of the fundament of all science, critical thinking. In the end they were not fooled, but a syndicated radio personality was fooled. It says something about the conspiration theorists, but I let you, our beloved and informed reader figure out what that is.


Last week Kelda grabbed a shared lead with our Grand-Master Sissel. What will happen this week? As usual there are 3 volcanoes hidden, 1 volcanologist and one volcanic term.riddle5

  1. Image – Concepción in Nicaragua (Lughduniense, 2pt) The painting is the original La inmaculada Concepción, or Our Lady of Imaculate Concepcion.
  2. Atlas of Borismania – Wolfgang Sartorius von Waltershausen (Diana Barnes, 2pt). He wrote Atlas des Ätna (1858 -1861)
  3. As I am sad I shed myself of these – Pele’s Tears (Dinojura, 2pt)
  4. Petite Famous English Fatty Owl’s – Pico Basilé in Equatorial Guinea (Sissel, 2pt). Basil Fawlty and his Fawlty Towers was the way there.
  5. Saint Martin in the Fields playing in tuxedos – San Martin Tuxtla, Mexico (Sissel, 2pt)
Score board
20 Sissel
20 Kelda
12 Dinojura44
12 Cryphia
10 Evan Chugg
7 Dorkviking
4 Edward
4 Matt
4 Pyter
4 Spica
3 GeoLurking
2 Alison
2 Inannamoon
2 Lughduniense
2 UKViggen
2 Bobbi
1 Diana Barnes
1 KarenZ
1 Sa’Ke


The original post can be found here:


281 thoughts on “Editorial on our April fool’s Joke

    • Dinojura44 and Cryphia are in a shared third spot, and last years Great Contender Evan Chugg is in fifth but he is sure to fight back soon!

      I really love no 4 :mrgreen:

  1. #2 Etna
    #1 – Our Sister of the “What the @@$@# did you do now?” … “Go mow the grass.”

    #4 – Hekla.

  2. #5 … The Brass Volcanoes 😉 😉 … a jazz group playing in St Martin in the Fields. Whatever that has to do with the riddle, I’ve no idea, but I’m searching …

    • People seem to love Puracé volcano in here. I will have to do a post on it one of these days. But as Sissel and Lurking discovered it is not the answer.

  3. Another try for 1: Pichincha volcano, Ecuador. – “The Crown of the Andes — known in Spanish as La Corona de los Andes and as La Corona de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Popayán — is a votive crown originally made for a larger than life-size statue of the Virgin in the Cathedral of Popayán, Colombia” (Wikipedia). And Quito, the capital city of Ecuador located on the eastern slopes of Pichinchais, is also referred to as “the crown of the Andes”.

  4. Carl, on the incidence of cancer and vegetarian versus omnivore diet. There are countless studies on pubmed that show the less incidence of cancer amongst vegetarians. I don’t know why you got so cherry-picky with that study, just to show the opposite conclusion. It reminds me when people pick a study that shows that global warming is not result of human activity or even that does not exist. You know what I mean. But there are plenty of studies that show the opposite conclusion: less cancer amongst vegetarians. So, who is right? A single isolated study doesn’t show anything, especially when the method is dubious. But when many studies show something coherent conclusion, then we are onto something.

    I am not even a vegetarian (or vegan), but I think you are being biased Carl. Picking only study, hmm Carl that’s just like a conspiracy theorist manipulating data in their conversations 😉 I agree Carl it’s an interesting study, but it goes in contradiction to what many other studies have concluded.

    The world of scientific research is full of controversial studies, often against the consensus of previous research. Sometimes they are just faulty methodology, biased, or manipulated data.

    • My daughter came home from school when she was 8 and said she was a vegetarian because she would not allow animals to die so that she could live. I had followed a vegan macrobiotic diet to get rid of cancer some 10 years earlier so I just said it was okay, and looked out a book for families called ‘The Right Food for your Kids’. It provides recipes for babies, toddlers, older children and adults in 3 formats – vegan, vegetarian and meat-eating, showing how to ensure you get the equivalent food values from whichever diet you choose to follow. She is still vegetarian, and eats healthily. I eat unhealthily – including meats and processed foods – until I need to remedy my health and ‘clean up’. We are lucky in this day and age to have the choice of foods from around the world. The main way to stay healthy though is to eat for the climate you are living in, with warming, fat-producing foods in cold climates, including root veg and brassicas, and sweatable foods in hot climates with poly or mono-unsaturated oils, fruits and legumes (beans etc).

      There is so much contradictory information around that one has to read wisely (I meant to say widely!) and make up one’s own mind. Research is only as good as the quality and controls allow.

    • I am aware of those studies. They are entiirely another ballgame. And no I am not at all biased, that was why I was so surprised over the data Irpsit. I was actually convinced that eating vegetarian food or food high in vegetables was better for you.
      But this study actually got me thinking. The peoples (countries) with the longest life expectancy eat the opposite of the studies proving vegetarian food. So, something here must be at play.
      I think part of the answer of why more astma and cancer can be found in Alysons reply. I think that quite a few switch to vegetarian food after being diagnosed.
      I am though open to new papers that actually shake the foundation of truth, especially when people have bothered with a paired study.

  5. ENKELADOS was a Gigante (a titan like atlas?) who battled Athene in their war against the gods. When he fled the battlefield, Athene crushed him beneath the Sicilian Mount Aitna …(etna = boris) hmm can’t find enkelados or typhon or typhaeus volcano… hmmm 😦

    • There is a moon of Saturn called Enceladus. It shows Cryovolcanism. ( i don’t think thats the right answer though)

  6. No. 1 – Santa Maria Island. Portuguese for Saint Mary. It is located in the southeast corner of the Azores archipelago, 100 km south of São Miguel, and 600 km from the island of Flores (the western most island in the archipelago). Geologically, it is the oldest island in the archipelago, with formations that are 8.12 million years old. Due to its age, and no historical evidence of volcanism, the geography of the island tends to be more mature and includes larger deposits of sediments than can be found on the other islands of the archipelago. Similarly, marine fossils have been discovered on the island (in Prainha and Lagoinhas) that date back 117-130 million years (the Pleistocene epoch), and others (in Ponta do Castelo) dating back 5 millions of years (to the end of Miocene and beginning of the Paleocene. These deposits are evidence of an older island environment associated with both volcanic and sedimentary development. Generally, Santa Maria is known for the lack of volcanism during period of human intervention, although seismic events are common due to its proximity to the Glória Fault, an offshoot of the Azores-Gibraltar Transform Fault.

    Volcanic in origin, the geology of the island is characterized by a substrata of basalt deformed by a series of fractures in a northwest-southeast orientation. This is interlaced with lode and deposits of mafic silicate material. In addition, there are several calcium encrusted fossil deposits associated with marine formations, during a period of formation associated with Surtseyan activity. The presence of these deposits, unique in the Azores, gave rise to the lime (calcium oxide) industry during the 19th century.


  7. ” It is hellishly fun to write something untrue when you spend 364 days writing the scientific truth as well as it ever can be done.”
    I can truly understand this.
    I know all the user names on here since planes were banned from flying over the UK because ash endangered the engines. I am extrenely grateful to all the knowledge and links you have passed on, since then.
    I am not a scientist.
    The April fool thing worked on me. If I had read it anywhere else it would have gone over my head. But I read it here. It was an inhouse joke.
    I do not understand the frequent referance to doomdayers? They have, and always will be there.
    Is there a place for someone who is not as clever as you lot, just wants a foundation on this ever changing world? And as you can see, is easily lead by trust.
    This is my only post, so no worries. I am just trying to point out that an area exists between doomdayers and real science. Possibly filled by idiots like me.
    I will not get even more goofier and say I love this site, but I will say I am extremely grateful it exists.

    • Yeah, there is a middle ground. Those are the people that hard core doomers are trying to alarm. Call it a perverted and sick way to get their jollies if you will, but the middle ground is who the target audience typically is.

      Years ago, while on the mid or early morning watches, I used to pass the time yammering with the other watchstanders as a way to keep them and myself alert.. or at least awake. My tales, as sailors go, are not very good. But I could carry on a half ass intelligent conversation about a large number of things. Most of it science related. It was much more entertaining than hitting the seagulls on the pier with a laser pointer or having one bird chase it down the pier into another group that was just milling around. They usually grew upset at the one odd bird that came barging through the group. For the most part, people just want to be entertained. Tales of the strange and (occasionally) wonderful make for a good way to pass the time. Tales of doom or portents of doom serve the same purpose. Then you get the group that tale doom stories just to get a rise out of people. Personally, I don’t mind the doom, as long as it’s a plausible tale. And by that, I mean those that don’t try to violate physics… such as driving a nail through concrete using the palm of your hand.

      Reality is much more entertaining… such as this spontaneous Group Table Hump in Chile.

      As for learning more about it… read, read, read. My favorite was Global Tectonics 3rd edition. If you can find it in a library I highly recommend it.

    • Hi Shane. I do hope this won’t be the last comment you make 🙂 The more the merrier in the Volcanocafe.
      As for the people in the middle ground well I am one. When Lurking ,Carl , Heinrik , Karen and others far more knowledgeable than I, start one of their really in depth discussions I get completely lost most of the time, but I have noticed over the years here I am beginning to start understanding more and more. At one time I would have taken the Swedish Super Volcano seriously now I have learned enough to enjoy the post as a wonderfully funny joke.
      I cannot contribute expert geological knowledge but I can ask questions or make a comment that may make someone somewhere smile and this is what makes this site so unique. The natural mixture of people from all walks of life and all with slightly differing opinions and experiences.
      Everyone has, and should have, a deep seated fear and respect of the catastrophes that Nature can throw at us humans. Way back these occurrences were blamed on Gods because that was the only explanation. Now more is understood scientifically but sometimes there are no clear answers. This is when conspiracy theories take hold and the prophets of Doom feel some sort of personal, .pleasurable, power as they get panic reaction form others.
      Others find comfort and explanation in their religious beliefs and faith and yet others keep searching and researching to find proven answers.
      In Volcanocafe all are welcome from which ever viewpoint they come from. If you have a theory then it’s fine to air it on here. If the theory has been well and truly proven as not upheld then it won’t be long before someone comes in and provides the proof by linking to some Peer accepted Paper.
      Some theories and ideas are still much discussed because nothing has been positively explained. These discussions are wonderful. Always polite despite differing views. This is what is so exciting about Volcanocafe. It is one of the few places where sharing viewpoints and ideas is tolerated just as long as politeness and tolerance on both sides rules and proven scientific answers are provided where possible.
      However, what makes the world such a wonderful place is…….Just when you think the answers have been proven, Mother nature throws some new spanner in the works and everyone has to go back to the drawing board!

      OMG! A proper Rumination here on only one coffee…….I’m off to get #2 and then back to watching Iceland’s rather good rifting activity.

    • Shane, welcome! We all start out being ignorant, the difference is how we proceed from there. It is a question of belief versus knowledge. Many people are satisfied buying pre-packaged opinions, their interest does not go deeper into most subjects. Others search for knowledge and bit by bit come to understand the phenomenon of their interest. Five years ago, I knew next to nothing about volcanoes and would probably have been taken in by our April fools joke. The reason we snigger is that our joke proves that the – if you allow the expression – leaders of the doomsdayers are of the belief kind. The joke fit their preconceived and erroneous picture of what the world is really like, thus they were taken in by it.

      You should note that we are equally “unimpressed” with scientists such as average physicist Michio Kaku who venture into other fields of expertise and rehash unscientific “truths” in order to satisfy their own need for public acclaim.

    • Shane, as you probably have noticed we all can go into quite heated (but very friendly) discussions on subjects from time to time. Why? Because we do not know everything, and for me that is the glory of life, that I will never know everything even though I try quite hard.
      Also, those in between. Well, we have all started as in-betweeners. And Lurking is correct, there is a cynical group of people out there like Steve Quayle who for personal gains try to fool people into believing things that are not true. They see the in-betweeners as pray.
      This will be inspired by Irpsit. Let us now say that you as an inbetweener become convinced that the Volcano “Fire” (none-existant) but close enough to you to be able to cause harm, will erupt soon. That is fine, we all get convinced of these things now and then. But it is were we go from there that makes a difference. Some will just scream straight out that Fire will erupt and that it will be a catastrophe and work ourselves into a frenzy. They often try to convince others of the same thing, and in the end when someone tries to tell them the reallity they will refuse to hear it.
      The other way is to read up on Fire, start learning about Fires signs before erupting, talk to others who study Fire, or even ask the scientists studying Fire directly. The latter way will give you a more ballanced view on Fire, and probably diminish your worries because you now own the most valuable thing on earth. Knowledge.
      Welcome to us nutty knowledge-seekers. Oh, and knowledge is most often free of charge (Unless Springer-Verlag is the publisher…)

      • Hi KarenZ, Carl, Diana,
        Can I just first apologise for taking so long to reply. Believe it or not, I do not (deliberately) own an iphone. (How can anyone exist without an iphone?…. I know it’s ridiculous)
        Anyway like everyone else on the planet I have the dreary work thing to do every week. So I catch up on you lot every Friday night.
        Thank you for all the kindnness and understanding you have shown, towards my comment. I did not expect this.
        I would love to comment more but I lack knowledge, so am very happy just to learn.
        Also, over the years some of the comments, have made me double over in laughter. The sparring between you all can be hilarious, and the stories of the incidents that have happened to you all through you employment, etc, and just your observations of life in general, always brings a smile to my face.
        Take care all.
        Again, just, thank you for your warm welcome.

  8. Heads Up ** Alert** Earthquake swarm commences in Iceland. Starting with some larger shocks off the SW peninsula and rapidly migrating NW in the rift to a point SE of the capitol.
    Hey, Iceland guys! What is the volcano situation in that area?

    • It’s where the MAR makes landfall on Iceland proper. Some volcanic features here and there. A previous swarm made a nice dome-like shape that could have been a Sill emplacement several months ago. Either side of the MAR, grabens form as the two sides move apart. Occasionally, some of them leak magma to the ocean floor and form volcanic structures.

      Caveat: I just plot stuff. Right now I am enjoying whiskey and am about to turn in. It was an arduous 5 day long Monday and hopefully Saturday will turn out better. With luck I won’t wake up until I feel less fatigued.

    • Hi Don! Most of the earthquakes you see are at the Hengill shield volcano and listed as close to Hellisheiðarvirkjun where they have just started fracking in a new place in order to store carbon dioxide below ground.

      • Though I don’t think sequestration is their game plan. The additive forms carbonate deposits in the freshly fracked hot rock and acts as a propping agent to keep the fractures open and porus for optimal steam production.

  9. #4 – Colo or Una Una
    Una was the shot-sighted sister, known as The Owl, of the creator of Billy Bunter

  10. Martin volcano in Alaska for #5 is probably to easy. A tuxedo is called smoking and the valley of the ten thousand smokes is closeby as is Katmai and Novarupta.

  11. OK I have coffee #2…… and to just complete my rumination…….You think Carl & Henrik’s Post is not responsible or professional or altogether not OK.? What about this ,the best Scientific “Who Dunnit” ever? The Piltdown Man Hoax. It fooled the world for years and only the relentless improvement of scientific processes and thinking brought it to light. It puts our little April Fools Joke into perspective.
    or a longer programme.

    • That one is my favourite. Two junior scientists who were fed up with their overbearing and credit-stealing chief set him up completely and showed posterity what an amateur he really was. Definitely a candidate for best pay-back of all time.

  12. 4 “Fatty Owls” makes me think of one of the hotel signs of Fawlty Towers. The “Petite Famous” could be Polly or Sybil… but of course, no volcano in Torquay. The closest I can come is a geologist named P. David Polly.
    And not unimportant, Carl writes “Fatty Owl’s”, not “Fatty Owls” so this is probably as wrong as can be.

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