Sacred Volcano in North Korea May Be Waiting to Blow
Sprinkled with villages and blueberries, Mount Paektu has been rumbling, prompting an international effort to study its underbelly.
An enigmatic and dangerous giant sleeps on the border between China and North Korea.
It’s quiet now, but a millennium ago, the volcano called Mount Paektu exploded with a fury rivaling the largest eruptions in recorded human history, hurling crackling rocks and ash as far away as Japan.
Despite that violent outburst, Mount Paektu—or Changbai, as it’s called in Chinese—remains fundamentally mysterious. Few outside the region are even aware it exists. And no one knows if, or when, the 9,000-foot-tall (2,740-meter-tall) peak might erupt again.
Now, armed with an array of seismometers and almost unprecedented access to North Korea, an international team of scientists is working to peer beneath Mount Paektu. Inscribed in those shifting layers of Earth are crucial clues about