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Vast volcanic eruptions may have turned Venus from paradise into hell

Massive global volcanism that covered 80% of Venus’ surface in lava may have been the deciding factor that transformed Venus from a wet and mild world into the suffocating, sulfuric, hellish planet that it is today.

The surface temperature on Venus is a sweltering 867 degrees Fahrenheit (464 degrees Celsius), hot enough to melt lead, and there’s a crushing pressure of 90 atmospheres underneath the dense clouds of carbon dioxide laced with corroding sulfuric acid. Often decried as Earth‘s “evil twin,” Venus is a victim of a runaway greenhouse effect, no doubt amplified by Venus being about 25 million miles (40 million kilometers) closer to the sun than Earth and therefore receiving more heat.

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