Europe’s Largest Volcano Appears To Be Waking Up

Tourists in Italy have been treated to an extraordinary display of nature as Mount Etna, the largest active volcano in Europe, has been shooting out rare “smoke rings” into the sky since last week. The phenomenon, also known as “volcanic vortex rings,” has been captured on camera by lucky onlookers.

According to the Associated Press, the impressive “smoke rings” are formed by a combination of rapid gas release and the shape of the new crater that opened on Tuesday at Etna’s summit. This new crater has been spewing out puffs of glowing gas, creating a chimney-like effect that produces mesmerizing rings.

Boris Behncke, a volcanologist at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Catania, explained on Facebook that Etna is breaking all previous records with the amount of vapor rings it has been producing. He reported that since the smallmouth on the northeastern rim of the South-East Crater opened on April 2nd, hundreds or even thousands of rings have been emitted.

It is a rare sight to see a volcano producing such a large number of smoke rings, according to Behncke. He also mentioned that other volcanoes may have the capacity to create these rings, but strong winds often prevent their formation.

The Daily Mail reports that the rings from Etna’s recent activity can be seen as far as 18 miles away, making it a unique and mesmerizing sight for tourists and locals alike.

Fox Weather reported that Etna has been frequently erupting, with the most recent eruption occurring in November 2023. During this eruption, a lava fountain shot into the air, accompanied by loud booms and explosions.

Etna is located in the city of Catania on the coast of Italy. It is the largest of three active volcanoes in the country and also the largest active volcano in Europe, according to the European Space Agency.

Despite the frequent eruptions, there were no reports of any disruptions in the surrounding villages or at Catania airport due to the “smoke rings.” Typically, the airport closes during major eruptions for safety precautions.

The impressive display of nature has drawn crowds of tourists to witness the rare “smoke rings” at Mount Etna. This natural phenomenon is a reminder of the power and beauty of Mother Earth, and it serves as a reminder for tourists to always respect and admire nature’s wonders from a safe distance.


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