Underwater volcano found by Italy

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A huge underwater volcano has been discovered 40km (25 miles) off the southern coast of Sicily.

The Italian scientists who discovered the volcano have named it Empedocles.

The volcano’s base covers an area larger than Rome, and it’s higher than Paris’ Eiffel Tower with one peak only seven metres below the sea’s surface.

Empedocles is dormant and luckily shows no sign of imminent eruption. Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, lies 100 km (62 miles) to its north.

The base of the new underwater volcano measures 750 square km (290 square miles) and it sticks out of the ocean floor by some 400 m (2460 ft).

At various times in history, it has formed a small island.

The first recorded eruptions occurred in the third century BC and the last during the early 19th century.

New survey equipment has confirmed that what used to be considered a series of small underwater fissures are in fact part of a single massive volcano.

The volcano was named Empedocles after the Greek philosopher who hypothesised that all matter consisted of four elements – earth, air, fire and water.

Source BBC Online