Ten billion tonnes???
I can't even imagine even ten thousand or ten million tonnes of anything...
The average car weighs ONE tonne...
But ten billion tonnes is how much ash and pumice were spewed out by Mount Vesuvius.
Rescue parties from Rome were so overwhelmed by the destruction, they just turned back in despair and Pompeii faded from memory.
It was discovered by chance in 1954 during the building of an aqueduct.
Mt Vesuvius across the Bay of Naples
I knowwwww, I only blogged about the super volcano a week ago...but...last weekend I saw the docudrama about Pompeii's last day.
Remember when I was in there in December, I wanted to cry when I saw some of the casts:
(I want to replace this pic with a more artistic version)
In the last stages, some died from breathing hydrochloric acid.
Then there was the pyroclastic flow.
The first breath burned the lungs, causing them to fill with fluid. Breathing fire.
The second breath took in ash which created a cement-like mix. Suffocation.
The third breath solidified it. Slow death.
In other areas, there was the superheated gas which vapourised flesh, caused the brain to boil, and teeth and bones to explode.
Such blasts only occur once every 2,000 years. The original inhabitants did not know that Vesuvius was a volcano. The first readers of Pliny's account did not even believe his story. This must mean that the mountain's previous eruption occurred before written history.
The ancients did not know disaster like we do...
Today, 3 million people live in the shadow of Vesuvius.
Half her original size and still intimidating
Meantime I am writing a post on 20six about the
Art of Letters