Science: Decoding the Volcano's Message

At Mount St. Helens: T shirts, bumper crops and suspense

It is the hottest show out of the West, competing with Disneyland and the tinsel of Hollywood. Visitors are flocking to it by the thousands. For sheer suspense it rivals even Hitchcock, continually hinting of ominous new surprises. The sulfurous center of all this attention is Mount St. Helens, site of the largest volcanic explosion in the U.S. in more than 60 years.

When the volcano erupted last May 18 with the force of 500 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs, it blew away a cubic mile of earth,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!