Mount Etna Eruption On Tape; Watch Typhon’s Fury [VIDEO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on March 6, 2013 3:21 PM EST

volcano eruption
Like many volcanoes, Mount Etna has been active for hundreds of years. (Photo: Creative Commons: coolinsights)

Mount Etna's eruption was caught on tape Tuesday night as the volcano spewed lava and ash into the sky. Mount Etna's last eruption was in February, and the latest eruption further cements the volcano's reputation as the most active in Europe. Standing 11,000-ft. tall, Mount Etna sits on the isle of Sicily in southern Italy. According to livescience.com, the mountain's largest feature is the Valle del Bove (Valley of the Ox), a large horseshoe-shaped caldera on the eastern slope. There are numerous fissures and vents on the flanks of the volcano that often produce slow-moving pyroclastic flows at low altitudes. These flows threaten agriculture, public utilities and transportation in the heavily populated towns surrounding the mountain.

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Mount Etna's eruptions have been a part of Mediterranean history as far back as the ancient Greeks. According to Greek mythology, Mount Etna serves as the prison for Typhon, a titan who attempted to kill Zeus. Zeus, being Zeus, defeated Typhon and trapped him under the mountain for eternity. Typhon is associated with volcanic eruptions throughout the region, but Mount Etna's eruptions are his most well-known in mythology.

Mount Etna has a longer written record of eruptions than any other volcano. The first recorded observation of a Mount Etna eruption was written by Diodorus Siculus in 425 B.C. The mountain was also described by the Roman poet Virgil in the Aenid. Roman records from 122 B.C. indicate a large eruption blocked the sun for several days and caused widespread damage to the town of Catania on the coast.

A major eruption at Mount Etna caused havoc at European airports in 2011, when the volcano spewed fumes high into the atmosphere making it impossible for plane travel. The images of the gases emitted by the volcano were captured from space. There are no reports of air travel disruptions as a result of the latest Mount Etna eruption.

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