Mount Etna is Italy's largest active volcano, and one of the biggest in the world. It is located on the Italian island of Sicily and is one of the region's most popular tourist attractions. But it's also something that is worth keeping a little distance from.
Active volcanoes are constantly going in and out of moments of fury. (For example, an active Hawaiian volcano, Kilauea, has been doing this for much of this summer.) Mount Etna is no exception—its name literally means "I burn" in Greek, so no surprise there, right? After a brief rest since March, it really burst back into action this August.
This video from Monday, August 27 shows the view of Etna erupting from the city below.
Making peace with a giant
Something that is really striking about that video? The sounds of dogs and people in the background, just going about their evening's activities as a volcano erupts in the distance. No sounds of panic, or even awe.
In fact, the city of Catania, which is right at the foot of Mount Etna is home to over a million people and one of the ten largest cities in Italy.
How can all of these people—or anyone—live so close to an active volcano? Especially since it's not as though it only became active recently. Written records of Etna erupting goes back well over 2,000 years. You think they'd get the message, no?
Even with a small eruption, like the one at the New Southeast Crater initiated on the evening of 23 August 2018, #Etna knows how to make an overwhelmingly beautiful show. View from home on the evening of 24 August 2018 pic.twitter.com/77sgVsFmm0
— Boris Behncke (@etnaboris) August 24, 2018
But as this tweet points out, it is quite a beautiful show. And did we mention that Catania is found on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in a beautiful climate? I guess it just goes to show that many of us are willing to risk a bit of danger to live in an otherwise beautiful place.
Meanwhile, Etna continues to bubble and churn in the background as the city sleeps. We'll leave you with a time-lapse video that squeezes about an hour's worth of erupting into five minutes. We have to agree, it is a beautiful show!