TIL: There is an extinct volcano sitting directly beneath the city of Jackson, Mississippi. Specifically, it is approximately a half mile below the Mississippi Colosseum and state fairgrounds. In the late Cretaceous period — about 100 million years ago — this part of North America was under water. In fact, "North America" back then was actually more like a couple of mini-continents surrounded by ocean. The Jackson Volcano was the heart of a 400-square-mile island in that sea. It hasn't erupted in 65 million years, but the ground is still hot enough that some local wells pump up 102°F water. [Edited to add that the relationship between groundwater temp and the Jackson Volcano may not be accurate. Eric Klemetti — geoscientist and Wired blogger — told me he would be surprised if an extinct volcano was the source of that heat.]

11 Responses to “The oldest Confederate volcano tells all”

  1. Boundegar says:

    I’ll bet there’s diamonds right above the lava in a place where they’re impossible to mine, too.

  2. Was interested to learn about the ‘Western Interior Seaway’ (awesome name, too) – looks like an amazing Catan/Civilization map!

  3. As someone that was born on that volcano, I can assure you that an eruption would be an improvement to the area.

  4. Haakon IV says:

    The book linked here is on “information channeled by Edgar Cayce” while in a trance state.  There is probably a better reference available for the volcanic history of the area.

  5. dave3 says:

    Representative Paul Broun from neighboring Georgia, a member of the House Science Committee would tell you this geology science mumbo jumbo is a bunch of lies straight from the pit of hell.

  6. Halloween_Jack says:

    Does Eric Klemetti have an explanation for the natural hot water, then? I’m curious, in part because after reading The Road, and figuring out that one way to survive such a catastrophe (which is never fully explained by Cormac McCarthy, but one theory is that the overcast skies and reduced temperature are due to (ironically) an explosion of the Yellowstone supercaldera) would be to build a house/compound that gets its energy from a geothermal source, which could be used to generate electricity to grow food in hydroponic gardens underground.

  7. rattypilgrim says:

    So it’s true. The South will rise again.

    • cdh1971 says:

      Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton
      Cinnamon seed and sandy bottom,
      Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

      I wish I was in Dixie, Hooray! Hooray! 
      In Dixie Land I’ll take my stand
      to live and die in Dixie. 

      Ole Missus marry “Will the weaver”
      Willum was a gay deceiver
      Look away! Look away! Look away!
      Dixie Land

      But when he put his arm around ‘er,
      He smiled fierce as a forty pounder,
      Look away! Look away! Look away!
      Dixie Land

      His face was sharp as a butcher’s cleaver
      But that did not seem to grieve ‘er
      Look away! Look away! Look away!
      Dixie Land

      Then hoe it down and scratch your gravel,
      To Dixie’s Land I’m bound to travel,
      Look away! Look away! Look away!
      Dixie Land

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