Volcanic eruptions are unpredictable, however these geologists cracked the code

On June 26, 2018, the earth rumbled under the giant sleeping tortoises on Isabela Island in the Galápagos 

Not long afterwards, Sierra Negra, a volcano that towers over the island, began to erupt

It was hardly Sierra Negra’s first eruption: It’s blown at least seven other times in the past century alone 

But what made the 2018 phenomenon special is that geologists had forecasted the eruption’s date as early as January 

Now, in a paper published in the journal Science Advances today, they’ve figured out why their estimates hit the mark 

Sierra Negra is just one volcano in a sparsely inhabited archipelago, but when hundreds of millions of people around the world 

“It was always just meant to be a test,” says Gregg. “We did not put much faith in our forecast being accurate.”