Santorini, Greece: 1,645 B.C.
Since humans began recording their history, perhaps no volcano left as big a mark as Santorini in Greece, which erupted more than 3,500 years ago. We know that it buried the Minoan town of Akrotiri, preserving buildings, beautiful mosaics, and winding roads.
But some scientists speculate that the fury of Santorini also sparked some of society's most powerful myths. The eruption could have inspired Plato's story of the lost city of Atlantis. And epidemiologist John Marr has hypothesized that the fallout from the eruption may have poisoned water in the area, causing the disasters that inspired the Bible's ten plagues of Egypt.