This is one of our most hotly contested categories at VTT HQ. As scientists, we always try to find the answer to a problem and explain it in an objective way, such as by measuring something or conducting an experiment. However, when deciding on how Wow!-ish a volcano is, we each make choices that are completely subjective. We can’t measure prettiness, impressiveness, or pointiness, but those are the types of things we think of when considering how much a volcano makes you go ‘wow’.
By using our impressions of features such as size, accessibility and whether the volcano is actually erupting (and how beautiful that eruption is!), a team of experts ranked our volcanoes using a method known as paired comparison. Some of us ranked certain volcanoes higher than others, which caused some arguments, but by combining all of our rankings we created a ‘consensus’ of opinion. We then converted these rankings in to a score, that ranged somewhere from 20 to 100, so that the higher the number, the more ‘Wow!-ish’ the expert group thought it was. This way, we have tried to make a very subjective category as objective as possible! You might not agree with our Wow! scores, but take a look and see which volcano you would rank top!