Sunday, April 18, 2010


A volcano of unpronounceable name, the Eyjafjallajökull, in Iceland, is causing havoc in airports in Europe and all over the world. Who doesn't know a person that has been caught in this nightmare of cancelled flights and left stranded in a foreign country, or at home deprived of the long-awaited holidays?

Image: 'Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland April 17+[Detail]'

I have always been intrigued by volcanos. They are one of the biggest and most powerful mysteries of Nature. The old Romans believed that the god Vulcanus, son of Jupiter, had his smithy underneath Mount Etna, in Sicily. So whenever this volcano was active, they thought it was Vulcanus, the blacksmith, hitting on the iron to manufacture arms and armours for the heroes. Isn't it fantastic how mythology interprets Nature?

The Forge of Vulcan, by Diego Velázquez

In 1783, another volcano in Iceland, called Laki, produced so much poisonous gas that it killed thousands of people, and the consequences were felt not only in Iceland, but also in far away places like Egypt, where one sixth of the population died of famine caused by the low flow of the river Nile, due to the alterations of the African monsoon.
To know a bit more about the different types of volcanos watch this video and then answer the questions.

1 comment:

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