If you’ve spent more than 30 second of your life Googling “how all of humanity will be killed” (that’s a normal thing to do, right?), then you’ve probably heard of the Yellowstone Caldera. It’s a Supervolcano set in the middle of Yellowstone National Park that is well overdue for an eruption, and we are screwed if it happens.
Now NASA, the government organization that is usually more occupied with things that happen above us than below us, has determined that the potential threat of a supervolcano erupting is way higher than the chance of an asteroid slamming into the planet. Furthermore, they fear that one of these eruptions could cause a collapse of pretty much all economies and the world’s agricultural system. This would mean millions of deaths. Thankfully, they’ve come up with a rather simple plan that they think will save us all. They want to poke a hole in it and let it cool down.
The hope is that this would allow the magma inside the volcano to cool down by 35%, which should prevent an eruption. They’d do it by forcing water down the hole that they poke, which they think should do the trick.
Now, here’s the bonus and the catch. The bonus is that all the steam from the water and magma combining could be used to harness a metric crap ton of clean energy. The downside? Well, the scientists are afraid of accidentally setting off an eruption in the process, so they want to drill in from the bottom to prevent the walls of the caldera from fracturing. That plan, however, comes with a $3.5 billion dollar price tag.