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New Giant Volcano Below Sea Is Largest In the World 105

An anonymous reader writes "If you're a fan of gigantic volcanoes you'll be happy to know that the biggest volcano on Earth, and one of the biggest in the solar system, has just been discovered under the Pacific Ocean, about 1,000 miles east of Japan. From the article: 'Called Tamu Massif, the giant shield volcano had been thought to be a composite of smaller structures, but now scientists say they must rethink long-held beliefs about marine geology. "This finding goes against what we thought, because we found that it's one huge volcano," said William Sager, a geology professor at the University of Houston in Texas. Sager is lead author in a study about the find that was published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Geoscience. "It is in the same league as Olympus Mons on Mars, which had been considered to be the largest volcano in the solar system," Sager told National Geographic.'"
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New Giant Volcano Below Sea Is Largest In the World

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  • Yep (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ls671 ( 1122017 ) on Friday September 06, 2013 @03:18AM (#44772553) Homepage

    Yep, there is bunch of stuff that is hiding under water in the sea that we haven't discovered yet.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 06, 2013 @03:26AM (#44772583)

    Sorry if this may seem ignorant, but how can we be sure it might be the biggest volcano in the solar system if we only just discovered this one on *our* planet?

  • No, it isn't a fundamental problem with science; they changed what they thought when new evidence to the contrary came to light. That's exactly how science is supposed to work.

  • Re:Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Friday September 06, 2013 @05:15AM (#44772899) Homepage Journal

    They didn't "redefine" it, they studied it until they understood it better. If you go to the doctor, are you upset because you get a diagnosis of a specific bacterial infection and a prescription for antibiotics instead of a diagnosis of "fever" and a bleeding to restore the balance of your bodily humors?

  • by jrumney ( 197329 ) on Friday September 06, 2013 @05:28AM (#44772929)

    And this is a fundamental problem with religious fundamentalists... they can't handle the fact that scientists can change their minds when fresh evidence emerges.

  • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Friday September 06, 2013 @08:59AM (#44773799)

    You can safely assume a "that we know of" clause on every scientific statement ever made. Scientists don't bother actually stating it because it would get rather repetitive and unreadable, plus it's not the only such assumed qualification and including them all would make science papers and books about 20x longer.

    And of course the claim you state was never made anyway since we already know of bigger volcanoes. Which is an example of these implied qualifications: the Mars volcanoes are not active, to the best of our knowledge they are volcanoes - the geology matches what we expect volcanoes to be and so on. However, a volcano by definition requires a magma chamber and we since they aren't active we can't be 100% sure. There is no other mainstream explanation and they fit volcanoes like a glove so no qualifications would usually actually be stated, the electric universe folk think they are scars from electrical discharges as an example of a completely different interpretation.

The moon may be smaller than Earth, but it's further away.