Waimangu, on New Zealand's North Island, was identified as the world's tallest geyser in 1901. It stopped erupting in 1904.
Photograph by Vaile Photo Studio
  • On January 30, 1901, the world’s tallest geyser was identified. Waimangu was described by Dr. Humphrey Haines, and located on the North Island of New Zealand. Eruptions from this geyser, active from 1900 to 1904, could reach 488 meters (1,600 feet) in the air. That is 10 times as high as Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful. It is also higher than the Empire State Building.

    A geyser is an underground hot spring that periodically erupts through the surface in a spray of hot water and steam. The eruption is caused by hot underground magma, or molten rock, heating the spring’s water. Waimangu, which means “black waters” in the native Maori language, was named for the chunks of black rock it hurled into the air with each eruption.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    eruption Noun

    release of material from an opening in the Earth's crust.

    geyser Noun

    natural hot spring that sometimes erupts with water or steam.

    Encyclopedic Entry: geyser
    hot spring Noun

    small flow of water flowing naturally from an underground water source heated by hot or molten rock.

    magma Noun

    molten, or partially melted, rock beneath the Earth's surface.

    Encyclopedic Entry: magma
    Old Faithful Noun

    geyser in Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. state of Wyoming.

    steam Noun

    water vapor.