Known to locals as Popo, the volcano—the second largest in North America—is currently in the throes of a long, mild eruption.
Though it has been simmering for centuries, Popocatépetl is capable of vast, cataclysmic explosions, the most recent of which occurred around A.D. 800.
The Aztecs chronicled the giant's rumblings and gave it its name, which means "smoking mountain."
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