10 October 2011

Evil Geologist Volcano Lairs: Location is key

Posted by Jessica Ball

A little while back, the Geological Society of London Blog posted about the best volcanoes for evil scientist lairs. Erik Klemetti didn’t like the top 5 choices, and decided to reveal his own: Mount Erebus. I have to admit, having evil (penguin) minions and an isolated location is pretty good for a mad scientist. And lava lakes are cool (and hot). But if I’m going to be spending all my time in my evil scientist lair, the climate had darn well better be warm, because I spend enough of my time dealing with below-freezing temperatures here in Buffalo. No Antarctica for me!

So my lair is going to be in the South Pacific on Pagan Island. Never heard of it? Here’s why it would be an awesome evil geologist hangout:

North Pagan stratovolcano. Photo by Norm Banks, 1983 (U.S. Geological Survey)

  1. No one lives there – there are two pesky stratovolcanoes which apparently make it unattractive real estate. But, when the people left, they also left behind buildings, WWII bunkers, and an air strip. All I need to do is plop some well-camouflaged facilities in the crater of South Pagan (North Pagan has a tendency to erupt), sink a few geothermal wells and set up my cabana on the beach. Even if the US Navy does drop in (they’re the only ones who seem to get out there anymore), I’m sure I can arrange with my Navy connections to have anything unusual “overlooked”.
  2. Close proximity of shark-infested waters. Shark hunting is banned in the Northern Mariana Islands. Remember Thunderball? Worked for a Bond villain, works for me. (The sharks will not be kept in the lair, by the way. Too easy to get chucked in myself.)
  3. North Pagan has explosive eruptions. If I’m testing a doomsday weapon, what better way to hide it than disguising it as an eruption plume? This might prove to be tricky for a death ray, but I’m sure it could be passed off as volcanic lighting.

    Pagan as seen from the International Space Station. Astronaut photograph ISS014-E-11872 was acquired January 11, 2007; NASA EOS

  4. Since the people who evacuated from Pagan had to leave their animals behind, there are now feral cows, goats, and pigs roaming the island. Ever tried to stare down a cow? Or been charged by a pig? Penguins have pretty snappy uniforms, but a cow makes for a slightly more threatening minion. Plus, goats make good lawnmowers.

    Would you want to face this down?

  5. Three words: Commercial grade pozzolan. 65 million metric tons of it. I won’t even need to rob anyone to fund my super evil activities. Financial independence, that’s key.
  6. It will not be necessary to wear multiple layers of clothing over my evil geologist gear.

Can't do this in Antarctica!

Once is a tryout, twice is a repeat, and three times is a meme – so I’m issuing the challenge. What’s your evil geologist volcano lair of choice?