Scientists just found a 'zombie volcano' in New Zealand

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New Zealand Volcano Erupts

Geologists have discovered a massive magma chamber below the Earth's surface, sitting near some of New Zealand's most active volcanoes.

This was a surprising find, as magma chambers normally sit directly under volcanoes, not off to the side like these. Pressure buildup can cause the magma underneath a volcano to rise and pour out of it as lava, creating a volcanic eruption.

But this magma chamber is different. Geologists have nicknamed outliers like this one "zombie volcanoes" because they show signs of life where geologists normally wouldn't expect to find it. And there's probably quite a few of them out there.

"There's no need to panic, but chances are there are lots of bodies of magma dotted throughout the crust," Ian Hamling, a geophysicist at GNS Science in New Zealand, told Nature News.

Hamling and a team of scientists were using radar satellites to study the Taupo Volcanic Zone when they noticed an abnormal patch of magma that appeared to be rising. After sorting through previous data, Hamling figured out that the area has actually been slowly rising since the 1950s. During its peak growth, 9 million cubic meters of magma were bubbling into the chamber every year.

It's smaller than the magma chamber under Yellowstone, Hamling told Nature News, but it's still an impressive size.

It's unclear whether or not the zombie volcano could actually pose a threat, but so far there hasn't been any increase of volcanic activity in the area.

Geologists say we'll probably find a lot more of theses zombie volcanoes now that radar satellites are becoming more advanced. They've probably always been lurking below the surface, we just had no way to detect them until now.

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Scientists just found a 'zombie volcano' in New Zealand
Police help residents leave on a truck following a deadly eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano in Gamber Village, North Sumatra, Indonesia May 22, 2016, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyadi/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
Police help residents leave on a truck following a deadly eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano in Gamber Village, North Sumatra, Indonesia May 22, 2016, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyadi/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
Indonesian soldiers search an area following a deadly eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano in Gamber Village, North Sumatra, Indonesia May 22, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyadi/via REUTERSATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
An Indonesian soldier helps others search an area following a deadly eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano in Gamber Village, North Sumatra, Indonesia May 22, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyadi/via REUTERSATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
A dog is seen following a deadly eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano in Gamber Village, North Sumatra, Indonesia May 22, 2016, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Irsan Mulyadi/Antara Foto/via REUTERSATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Indonesian soldiers help residents evacuate following a deadly eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano in Gamber Village, North Sumatra, Indonesia May 22, 2016, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Irsan Mulyadi/Antara Foto/via REUTERSATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
A woman mourns over the coffin of a relative after a deadly eruption of Mount Sinabung in Sukandebi village, Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia May 22, 2016, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyad/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
Indonesian soldiers search an area following a deadly eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano in Gamber Village, North Sumatra, Indonesia May 22, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyadi/via REUTERSATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
A visitor takes photographs of Mount Bromo, an active volcano and popular tourist destination, in Probolinggo, East Java province, Indonesia April 3, 2016 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. REUTERS/Zabur Karuru/Antara Foto ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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