The question: Which Volcano is the World’s Largest? is hard to answer.
There are actually three volcanoes sharing this attribute. The underwater Tamu Massif the the most massive. Mauna Kea is the tallest and Ojos del Salado is the highest. You want to know more? Than read below!
The Tamu Massif is the most massive
The Tamu Massif covers more than 120,000 square miles (310,800 square kilometers). This underwater montain is located in a remote part of the northwestern Pacific Ocean about 1000 miles (1609 kilometers) east of Japan.
The slopes of Tamu Massif are very gentle in contrast to ‘normal volcanoes’. It is only recently that the Tamu massive was described as a single volcanic mount (rather than a volcanic complex made up of multiple volcanoes that had merged together).
Mauna Kea is the tallest
Mauna Kea is situated on the island of Hawaii. The summit of Mauna Kea has an elevation of 13,796 feet (4205 meters). However, its base is about 19,685 feet (6000 meters) below sea level. So from its base on the ocean floor to its summit, Mauna Kea is over 33,000 feet tall. AMAZING!
This makes Mauna Kea taller than any other volcano on Earth. In fact, it is also the world’s tallest mountain. Its summit is also the home of the world’s largest astronomical observatory (14,000 feet above sea level and thus above 40% of Earth’s atmosphere).
Ojos del Salado is the highest
Ojos del Salado, a stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains, has the highest summit elevation. As shown in the picture below, the mountain has actually two summits; the higher summit is in Chile. It has an elevation of 22,615 feet (6893 meters).
It is also the second-highest mountain in the Western Hemisphere, the second-highest in the Southern Hemisphere, and the highest mountain in Chile. Ojos del Salado is considered to be an active volcano. About 1000 to 1500 years ago, an explosive eruption produced pyroclastic flows.
In any case, you don’t want any of these monster volcanoes to erupt while you are alive!