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El Hierro Volcano Dominates NASA’s First Photo Tournament

The El Hierro volcano was below the ocean’s surface when it erupted last year, but it still managed to come out on top. Specifically, it won NASA’s first ever Tournament: Earth photo competition. The contest put 32 photos of the Earth up against each other “March Madness” style, and even though El Hierro entered the tournament with an unimpressive number seven seed, it managed to take down all comers and win.

The full square-shaped image makes for an awkward cover photo, so here’s the rest of it showing its location relative to La Restinga now that we have your full attention:

The span of the volcanic activity shown in this photo is massive, but after seeing the photos El Hierro was up against, I’m surprised it came out on top. It didn’t merely eke out a win either. It crushed the final round taking 91% of the vote. Take a look at the impressive photos El Hierro was up against in this tournament:

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The most impressive thing about the El Hierro photo is that it’s the one that most resembles a bird. See:

(via NASA Earth Observatory, images via NASA)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.