Visitors to Bali are sometimes intimidated when they realize that there’s volcanoes in the area. But there’s no need to worry! Volcano eruptions are rare in this era – but you should have seen previous eras.

Take, for instance, 77,000 years ago at Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia. That was the site of a cataclysmic eruption that affected climate and life forms all over the Earth. This was also pretty much before the damn of human history, when volcanoes all over the Earth were much more active.

Indonesia is part of what geologists call the “Pacific Ring” group, where shifting tectonic plates under the ocean floor stimulate geologic activity – for example, the recent Japanese 2011 earthquake and tsunami. But as far as Indonesian volcanoes go, the last major eruption in the region was Krakatoa in 1883, between Java and Sumatra. Remember that the best thing to do if you’re jittery around volcanoes is to stay far away from them – say, by relaxing on the beach around your vacation villa or hotel room!

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