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Lava from the Kilauea eruption engulfs a nursery in Kapoho, Hawaii on June 2, 2018. Hawaii Army National Guard / Sgt. John Schoebel

Did you know that the U.S. is one of the most volcanic countries in the world? There are more than 160 active volcanoes in the nation—but which ones could cause the most damage if they erupt?

On Thursday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released an update of its national volcanic threat assessment for the first time since 2005 and categorized 18 volcanoes as "very high threat."

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More than 600 homes have been destroyed by lava flows from Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii since erupting more than a month ago, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim told Reuters.

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Top row hints at global glaciation 700 million years ago. U.S. National Science Foundation / Wikimedia Commons

By Tim Radford

Movements of the earth's crust may mean that global warming driven by greenhouse gases from power stations and vehicle exhausts isn't the only threat to life the world faces.

About 700 million years ago, global temperatures fell so low that glaciers may have reached the equator. Snowball Earth may have all but extinguished life on the planet. But the only life at the time was microbial and dispersed in the oceans.

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Brent McGregor

By Megan Hill

Eddy Cartaya and Brent McGregor have unearthed what might as well be another planet. It exists in the backyard of 6 million people, in areas frequented by scores of national park tourists each year.

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Fourpeaked volcano, Alaska, in September 2006 after being thought extinct for more than 10,000 years. Cyrus Read, USGS

We can add volcanic eruptions to the list of potential climate change hazards.

In a presentation at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly held from April 8 to 13, University of Clermont Auvergne Ph.D. student Gioachino Roberti explained research indicating that melting glaciers could trigger eruptions, the Independent reported Wednesday.

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Andreas Kambanis / Flickr

Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth, may now be home to the densest concentration of volcanoes, according to a first-of-its-kind study.

The discovery isn't something to get too excited about. The researchers warned that if these volcanoes were to erupt, it could cause more ice sheets to melt and contribute to sea level rise.

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A unique interactive website gives you a new perspective on your time on Earth.

BBC Earth's "Your life on earth" interactive takes your birthdate, gender and height to give you a personalized look at how the Earth has changed since you were born.

Factoids provided include: how many times your heart has beaten; how far you have travelled through space; the amount of sea level rise; how far the tectonic plates have moved; and the number of earthquakes and volcano eruptions experienced since your were born.

Find out what has changed during your life and compare with friends. The interactive website is available here.

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