The Ring of Fire

The Ring of Fire is an area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. This region is home to about 75% of the world’s active volcanoes and is responsible for around 90% of the world’s earthquakes, including some of the most powerful and destructive ones in history.

  • Spanning Nearly an Entire Ocean

    Spanning Nearly an Entire Ocean

    The Ring of Fire is a horseshoe-shaped region that stretches for more than 40,000 kilometers (25,000 miles) across the Pacific Ocean, from South America up the western coast of North America, across the Aleutians, and down through Japan, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand.

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  • Most of the World’s Volcanoes

    Most of the World’s Volcanoes

    The Ring of Fire is home to more than 450 active and dormant volcanoes, which make up roughly 75% of all the world’s volcanoes. About 130 of these are active, meaning they have erupted in the last few hundred years and could erupt again.

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  • Earthquakes


    The tectonic boundaries in the Ring of Fire are the leading cause of earthquakes. They account for 90% of the world’s earthquakes, and 80% of such events occur under the sea.

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  • Deep Trenches

    Deep Trenches

    As of writing this, the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean is the deepest part of the world’s oceans. Part of the horseshoe-shaped tectonic zone that is the Ring of Fire, it goes down to 6.8 miles deep. This point far underneath the waves is called the Challenger Deep.

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  • East Pacific Rise

    East Pacific Rise

    The East Pacific Rise is a chain of underwater mountains and valleys that spans 6,200 miles along the eastern Pacific Ocean. This dynamic region is one of the largest and most active volcanic ridges in the world. The two tectonic plates that connect here slowly move apart, with deep magma coming up to form the mountains.

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  • Fertile Lands

    Fertile Lands

    Populated locations along the Ring of Fire are at high risk for natural disasters such as landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Though, this also means that the land is very fertile and natural resources abundant — while usually being a vibrant setting for tourism.

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  • A Violent Convergence

    A Violent Convergence

    The Ring of Fire is comprised of several tectonic plates that fit together like a constantly shifting jigsaw puzzle. These are the Pacific Plate, the North American Plate, South American Plate, the Eurasian Plate, the Philippine Plate, the Juan de Fuca Plate, the Cocos Plate, and the Nazca Plate.

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  • Unique Organisms

    Unique Organisms

    The Ring of Fire is known for its unique and diverse ecosystem, largely because of the extreme conditions within this environment. Organisms such as chemosynthetic bacteria that feed off of inorganic materials instead of sunlight, crab and shrimp that developed eyes that detect the infrared light spectrum, and giant clams that can survive in the high-temperature, low-oxygen environments.

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