In school students are often told to collect information on various things. One of the popular assignment is to collect details regarding volcanoes and sometimes even build models of volcanic mountains. For this, students have to hunt through various media to gather information on these fire mountains, assemble them together and present them in class.
Volcanoes have existed from the time the Earth was formed. It is not necessary that the volcanoes need to be mountains with conical tops. These fire spewing mountains can be found in every continent of the globe.
Mount Vesuvius is a famous volcano that is located in the European continent. The precise location of this volcano is near the city of Naples, in Italy, about six miles from the shore of the Bay of Naples. This volcano has a historical significance, owing to its many eruptions, the first eruption is believed to have happened almost 17,000 years ago.
➤Interesting Facts about Mount Vesuvius
•Located in Naples, Italy, Mount Vesuvius which is approximately 17,000 years old is a stratovolcano. This volcano can be recognized even from a distance, due to its characteristic feature of a 'humpback' mountain.
•An interesting fact is that this mountain is a volcano within a volcano. The height of the outer cone is approximately 4,202 feet (1,281 m) high, while the inner Monte Somma measures 3,770 feet (1,149 m). The cones are separated by a 5 km (3 miles) long valley which is named as Atrio di Cavalio.
•Mount Vesuvius is well-known for its catastrophic eruption on August 4, 79 AD which erased the evidence of two ancient cities - Herculaneum and Pompeii. The inhabitants of both these cities were buried under tons of volcanic ash caused due to the eruption. Many people and livestock also died because of inhaling poisonous fumes from the volcano.
•Pliny, the Elder, who was a Roman writer, and a witness to the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, back in 79AD, published description of the volcanic eruption to the detail. The lost cities were perfectly preserved by the ash and many evidences were excavated by the modern-day archaeologists.
•The characteristics of the eruption which destroyed two cities in 79AD, was that a huge column of gas and volcanic ash which could be seen rising to a great altitude. Hence this eruption is termed as 'Plinian' eruption. Volcanoes erupting in a similar manner are also known (or dubbed) by the same name.
•The impact of the eruption on August 4 was such that the Sarno river changed its course and the sea beach was raised. Many physical features of this area were altered, with the vegetation at the foot of the mountain being denuded.
•Mount Vesuvius is the only volcano in the continent of Europe, which has erupted within the last century. After 79 AD, the volcano erupted in 1631, the eruption was so massive that a heavy blanket of volcanic ash covered Southern Europe. The ash also spewed 750 miles (about 1,200 kilometers) away till Constantinople or modern-day Istanbul.
•Vesuvius erupted in 18th century (6 times) and also in the 19th century, especially in 1872. In the 20th century, it erupted in 1906, 1929 and 1944 witnessed its last eruption. These eruptions were not so forceful as to cause huge damage like the 79 AD.
•Post 1944, there have been no reports of Mount Vesuvius's activity, though it is still considered to be an active volcano. Sometimes smoke can be seen emanating from the vent of the mountain, even in the absence of eruption signs.
•Mount Vesuvius is considered to be a dangerous volcano due to the fact that about 3,000,000 people live near the location. At present, this volcano site has been converted into a tourist destination, with people from across the globe traveling to Naples just to view the crater. The National Park of Vesuvius was established in the year 1995, which offers guided tours within 200 meter radius of the summit.
•Tourists who come to visit Mount Vesuvius, cover their journey by walking to view the scenic Naples. The crater which is located approximately 1,282 meters above sea level, with a width of 600 meters, can still be seen emitting sulfuric smoke.