History has been known to repeat itself in strange and mysterious ways. Let’s hope residents of southern Italy don’t get to experience the phenomenon of historical déjà vu and witness another devastating volcanic eruption like the one which wiped out Pompeii in 79 AD. While that might be Italy’s most well-known volcanic disaster, it was by no means the first. 40,000 years ago, a massive supervolcano in roughly the same location is believed to have erupted so violently that it created a “volcanic winter” which led to the extinction of the Neanderthals.
That same chain of volcanoes which led to the Neanderthal and Pompeii disasters has been showing signs of restless lately. Just this month, Sicily’s Mt. Etna began erupting in a fiery show of magma and rock that is so bright it can be seen from space. That eruption is still ongoing and last week injured tourists and members of a BBC news crew after they strayed too close to the maw of the volcano and were subsequently showered with steam and boiling rocks in a surprise mini-eruption. There’s a lesson here, kids.
Now, things have taken a turn for the mysterious as a fishing boat off of the coast of Monte Cristo, Italy caught a massive, unexplained disturbance occurring in the middle of the ocean. The fishermen were able to catch a few seconds on video before fleeing out of fear.
According to their testimony, the ocean exploded in a violent geyser many meters high after the fishermen (and their cameras) were luckily a safe distance away. The source of the explosion still remains unknown, but researchers from Italy’s Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) suspect it was likely a methane bubble spewing from an unknown mud volcano. Between the many similar methane bombs are set to blow in Siberia and the increasingly vengeful European supervolcano, it’s looking like there’s no better time than now to stock up on canned goods and finish that bunker you’ve been putting off.