Netflix Academy: The best streaming videos on earthquakes and volcanoes

Note: This post is part of our series, "Netflix Academy: The best educational videos available for streaming." Be sure to check out our previous Netflix Academy posts on Ancient Asian Culturesearly American civilizations; Ancient GreeceAncient RomeNative American culturesChristopher Columbus and the Age of DiscoveryColonial America and the Revolutionary War; the American founders; movie adaptations of classic children’s booksAmerican folk heroesdinosaursaquatic lifeinsectsfrogs and other amphibiansreptiles; birds; mammals; and human evolution.

OK folks, we’ve wrapped up our posts on biology, and we’re on to earth science. As with science topics writ large, Netflix and Amazon have a wealth of educational resources that won’t bore you or your kids. Not that it would be easy to make earthquakes and volcanoes boring, what with their massive power and pyrotechnics. Why just read about them when you and watch and hear earthquakes and volcanoes in action? As always, please let me know what you think and if we’ve missed any great selections.

Special thanks to research interns Andrew McDonnell, Elisabeth Hoyson, and Liz McInerney for helping to compile these lists.

Best videos on earthquakes and volcanoes

1. Ring of Fire

Ring of Fire on Amazon InstantOne of nature's most spectacular and perilous wonders, volcanoes—with a danger radius of twenty miles, temperatures that can exceed 2,000 degrees, and lava traveling up to 150 miles per hour—are capable of consuming entire forests or towns and triggering tsunamis, flash floods, and earthquakes. Of hundreds of active volcanoes in the world, over three-quarters are part of the explosive Ring of Fire.

Length: 38 minutes

Rating: NR

Provider: Amazon Instant

2. Deadliest Volcanoes: Nova

Follow along as scientists probe the world's most powerful volcanoes, including the super volcano that slumbers beneath Yellowstone National Park.

Length: 53 minutes

Rating: TV-PG

Provider: Netflix  

3. Life on Fire: Phoenix Temple

Life-on-FireAround the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua, life has struggled for thousands of years to reemerge from the ashes.

Length: 53 minutes

Rating: NR

Provider: PBS

4. Life on Fire: Icelandic Volcanoes

Icelandic VolcanoesThrough spectacular aerial footage of this country, which is an accumulation of lava and ash, a maze of craters and faults, the episode tries to discern which volcano will awaken next.

Length: 53 minutes

Rating: NR

Provider: PBS

5. Kilauea: Mountain of Fire

KilaueaKilauea, on Hawaii's Big Island, is the world's most active volcano. Its latest eruption began in 1983, and it hasn't stopped since. Kilauea is also the driving force in a spectacular process of creation—the cataclysmic meeting of 2,000-degree lava and seventy-five-degree ocean water.

Length: 50 minutes

Rating: TV-PG

Provider: PBS

6. National Geographic: Volcano: Nature's Inferno

Volcano: Nature's InfernoTwo legendary summits—Mount Unzen in Japan and Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines—are the focus of this documentary about volcanoes.

Length: 55 minutes

Rating: TV-PG

Provider: Netflix

7. Megaquake: Hour That Shook Japan

MegaquakeExperience Japan's earthquake and tsunami through first-person accounts, as scientists explore whether the U.S. Pacific Northwest could be next.

Length: 38 minutes

Rating: TV-PG

Provider: Netflix

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