Massive Caldera Found in Philippine Seas—And It Could Be Earth's Biggest

Apolaki Caldera was discovered in the Philippine Rise, east of Luzon.

( Truth is, nobody knows for sure what's in our oceans. Earth is around 71% water after all, and it's almost scary-slash-exciting to think of all the undiscovered creatures and formations in the deep sea (we haven't given up on Atlantis, TBH). Scientists have recently found something literally and figuratively massive hiding in the Philippine Rise (a.k.a. Benham Rise): Apolaki Caldera, which is possibly the Earth's largest—taking  into account all the other ocean secrets we don't know just yet. 

The recently discovered caldera is around 150 kilometers wide. To put that into perspective, the distance it takes to drive from Quezon City in Metro Manila to Tarlac City, Tarlac is around 125 kilometers. Plus, according to the post of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute Geological Oceanography Laboratory, Apolaki's size is comparable to the shield calderas of Mars' Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in our solar system. 


Apolaki was named after the "Filipino mythical god of the sun and war," according to the same post. The caldera, which is basically a type of volcano that collapsed on itself, was discovered by a team of scientists: Jenny Anne Barretto—who is a Filipina marine geophysicist based in New Zealand—Ray Wood, and John Milsom. They were working on a paper on the physical features of Benham Rise. We'll keep on the lookout for more awesome scientific discoveries!

Main image by NAMRIA/Wikimedia Commons

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