This is a unit of journalistic measurement I have never come across before.
Manhattan has a land area of 59.1 square kilometers . 37e12 m³ of magma would fill the land area of Manhattan to over 600 kilometers, i.e. well past the boundary of space.
Alternatively, it would fill California's 424,000 thousand square kilometers to 100 meters, or about halfway to the top of the Transamerica Pyramid .
That sounds like a hell of a lot more than 37 million times the volume of the Empire State Building.
ED: Ahh, they had wrong area for California. It's 424,000 square kilometers not "424,000 thousand square kilometers"
And yea, 1/3 of the volume is a better approximation but the numbers where so far off that seemed less useful.
But seriously, I am OK using this kind of unit to illustrate that something is really big but at a minimum they should also add some real units.
I prefer the examples higher up the thread of filling the Grand Canyon 9 times or submerging all of California to a depth of 100m.
Cool stuff. Really drives home that we are guests of this planet.
A lot of initial observations and attempts to reconcile those with the biblical record, but that didn't add up. Lyell establishing gradualism. Lord Kelvin noting that thermodynamic cooling only allowed for about 30 million years of Earth history (pretty clearly not consistent with the structural geological record). Rutherford, Soddy, and Hardy establishing radioactivity and radiodating. Plate tectonics being proposed (initially as "continental drift"), rejected as patently absurd, and adopted some 50 years later as the fundamental organising principle of geology.
Added gloss from discoveries such as the Chixulub impactor, etc.
Edit: 2min of googling and I find a not very well know 20km impact crater dated at exactly the right time (mid 15th century): https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahuika_crater
it's existence/size/effects is controversial to say the least, TV shows about it show up on the History channel along with all the ancient aliens crap
(Ice core evidence shows a pair of eruptions around the 1460s, likely the cause of major famines across the planet in following years. The locations of the eruptions are still unknown, though.)