Mount Etna Volcano In Sicily Creates Perfect Steam Rings

Jan 14, 2020

Volcanoes are so unpredictable in their behavior, but even so we know a lot about how they behave and the explosions and fallout that occurs. Despite this, there is a lot that happens following an eruption that we are awed and surprised by. Mt. Etna was photographed letting out steam rings, which are basically giant rings of smoke and steam that float away from its summit into the sky.

Most people are only familiar with smoke rings created by individuals smoking or other small steam appliances that occasionally let off exhaust. Volcanoes are capable of letting off smoke rings too, and they are giant smoke rings because of the size of volcanoes and the amount of steam that they generate.

With each development to the volcano, its physical appearance changes but so does the material that is ejected from the volcano. Following the most recent explosions in 2013, the vent to Mt. Etna has changed in shape, and that shape is what has allowed for such perfect smoke rings to be created, explains Dailymotion.

Experts have flocked to the area, because such a phenomenon is rare and truly incredible to see. It is estimated that the rings are around 100 meters wide and maintain their shape well after being freed from the volcano. The rate at which the rings were being released also changed. Some days a dozen were released per hour, while other days hundreds of smoke rings were released every hour, as fast as they are created, reports Italy Magazine.

The last explosion wasn't the first time Mt. Etna was able to create smoke rings. According to the Daily Mail, back in 2000 Mt. Etna created rings after it exploded then, though they weren't as constant nor were they as long lasting as they seemed to be this time around. Volcanologists around the world are eager to see how long that period continued for the volcano and whether it leads to further change for Mt. Etna.

The next time you see someone let off a smoke ring, just imagine it thousands of times larger. And if you are lucky enough to see this phenomenon happen in real life, be sure to snap a photograph because there is no way to tell if it will happen again.