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British tabloids go berzerk for Iceland's volcanoes with false information and hilarious headlines

By Matt Eliason

  • Nuclear terrorism? UK publications reported sensationalist headlines when Icelandic scientists first predicted a potential eruption. 

I'm sure that you have heard that there is an ongoing eruption at Holuhraun lava field in the central highlands. It's both hilarious and kind of disturbing to look at old headlines from the past few months in English media pertaining to stories involving Iceland's volcanic activity.

Last spring British scientists released a geological survey summarizing Iceland's potential volcanic activity. However, a stream of misinformation flowed from the British publications like the liquid hot lava described in their sensationalist reports, which included harmful descriptions of poisonous gas and toxic smog.

Phrases like "supervolcano," "massive body count" and "immediate danger" struck fear into UK readers as the yellow-journalism attempted to capitalize on fear rather than the facts.

Citizens in Iceland simply laughed off the inaccurate, exaggerated volcano-themed articles, as life has gone on as normal for Icelanders, despite the volcanic activity. However, the English people do not have a direct connection to the volcanic activity, and the air of uncertainty seems to be fueling the fire.

All Brits remember the devastating affects of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 due to the ash cloud that ground all flights in western Europe during an eight day period. However, there have swarms of misinformation floating around the general public as a result of the mass panic created by the British media.

John A. Stevenson helps summarize the misinformation concerning big lava eruptions in Iceland for the publication All-geo.org.

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