Mount Etna

Timelapse shots of ash and gas erupting from Mount Etna in Sicily. At 3329 metres, Etna is Europe’s tallest and most active volcano. It was designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations in June 2013, one of 12 in the world.

Along the way photographer Jess Hurd and I picked up some local knowledge. Locals were happy while Etna is smoking away and spewing ash, as that means no pressure is building up.

The continuously smoking cone on the north is less dangerous, as it is constantly active and has a wide lava funnel, allowing the magma to move freely. The south east cone (seen in the videos as the one covered in yellow sulfhur) is the most dangerous due to the small lava funnel diametre and the cone remaining inactive for weeks at a time. This allows pressure to build up and eventually erupt.

Most worrying of all was many locals claimed that despite all the sensors on the mountain and the constant monitoring they have little to no warning of large eruptions, due to the unpredictable state of Mount Etna.

Jess Hurd Photo: Mount Etna

1920X1080 footage © Jason N. Parkinson available via


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