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Mamma mia! -- Etna erupts again
January 7, 2012 9:36 PM   Subscribe

Almost nine minutes of video of Etna volcano erupting this week in Italy, including a pyroclastic flow.

Etna has a long documented history of eruptions, and this most recent one started yesterday.

Don't mind the slightly disconcerting background laughing and chatter from the Italian observers in the video. More photos and video here.

Previously.
posted by gingerbeer (24 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Santa merda!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:43 PM on January 7, 2012


Seeing that rain of fire pelting the mountainside was one of the most frightening, terrifying things I have ever seen. The scale of the energy required to do that is just beyond my comprehension. And then the snow being literally sucked off the ground, first going uphill & then into the air - just awe inspiring. Wow.
posted by scalefree at 10:28 PM on January 7, 2012


Holy cow, that's scary.
posted by pjern at 10:37 PM on January 7, 2012


Incredibly cool.
posted by rodgerd at 11:45 PM on January 7, 2012


My underwear just experienced a pyroplastic flow.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:09 AM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Amazing. Plus it also makes me want to go do a crossword puzzle.
posted by aubilenon at 12:47 AM on January 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Incredibly beautiful.
posted by venividivici at 1:23 AM on January 8, 2012


I remember reading a couple of years ago that one possible outcome of global warming is increased vulcanism.

When I first saw that, I thought it was ridiculous. What does weather have to do with volcanoes? My reflex response was, "don't be stupid."

But there's some actual science there: all the ice on the Earth's crust is a gigantic weight pressing it down. As it melts, the crust goes through isostatic rebound, and some experts are suggesting that the result may be a bit like taking the top off a soda bottle. In areas that aren't volcanic, it won't make any difference, but in areas where the ice was exerting enough pressure to 'keep the cork in', so to speak, the results may be pretty dramatic.

It's hard to draw trends about things as big and slow as the Earth from the limited perspective of human lifetimes, but it sure seems like we've been getting an awful lot of seismic events, of all different sorts, over the last few years, doesn't it?
posted by Malor at 2:45 AM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


How the Italian equivalent of the Navy Seals (Incursori della Marina) helped deviate a dangerous lava flow during the Etna's euruption of 1991 by literalling blasting parts of the volcano. (Italian, 28 min video).

National Institute for Geology and Vulcanology Etna dedicated web site, with updates in english language.
posted by elpapacito at 3:22 AM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember reading a couple of years ago that one possible outcome of global warming is increased vulcanism.

"My God, the man's talking about logic; we're talking about universal Armageddon! You green-blooded, inhuman.."
posted by Fizz at 5:30 AM on January 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


No, he was actually talking about the entire crust of the earth turning into rubber. It will have its drawbacks, to be sure, but it will give the planet much more traction and stability.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:36 AM on January 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember reading a couple of years ago that one possible outcome of global warming is increased vulcanism.

Did you hear the one about the Yellowstone Cauldron blowing its top?

Knock. Knock.

Who's there?
posted by netbros at 6:54 AM on January 8, 2012


No-one.
posted by notsnot at 6:58 AM on January 8, 2012


Having Etna in the neighborhood totally makes ancient beliefs in violent, arbitrary gods reasonable.
posted by readery at 7:03 AM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


From "pyro" meaning "fire" and "clastic flow" meaning "OH FUCK!"
posted by davidjmcgee at 7:17 AM on January 8, 2012 [2 favorites]



Did you hear the one about the Yellowstone Cauldron blowing its top?


Oh, don't worry, the Warehouse agents took care of that one.
posted by maryr at 9:44 AM on January 8, 2012


I'm inevitably reminded of:
"I do not think I shall ever forget the sight of Etna at sunset; the mountains almost invisible in a blur of pastel grey, glowing on the top and then repeating its shape, as thought reflected, in a wisp of smoke, with the whole horizon behind radiant with pink light, fading gently into a grey pastel sky. Nothing I have ever seen in Art or Nature was quite so revolting. "
- Evelyn Waugh
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:05 AM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


wow that video is magnificent!!!
posted by supermedusa at 12:31 PM on January 8, 2012


Are the billowing white plumes steam from the snow, or is it a different color of ash?

It's amazing and beautiful.
posted by bleary at 12:51 PM on January 8, 2012


Are the people talking saying anything about the volcano itself, or are they just going on about last night at the bar?

Being part Sicilian myself, I have all the more respect and bit of pride in any people who can live in proximity such a regularly and suddenly violent creature of nature.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:29 PM on January 8, 2012


Most of the commentary runs along the lines of "now!" "look to the right" "in front! now!" and of course, "mamma mia!" which doesn't need much translation.
posted by gingerbeer at 6:41 PM on January 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks much, Gingerbeer!
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:49 PM on January 8, 2012


Someone with better Italian (and better hearing) may come along to translate more of the chatter, but a lot of what I can catch, especially from the camera person, is the expressions of "right there! look at that!" that you might imagine.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:19 PM on January 8, 2012


Did anyone else see an evil looking face seem to form & disappear towards the right side of the explosion at about 7:10-7:15? One can understand how ancient peoples formed their theories about gods when you see things like that!
posted by JKevinKing at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2012


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