12 Interesting Mount Vesuvius Facts You Never Knew About!

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mount vesuvius facts
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Mount Vesuvius is still regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, even if it has stopped its volcanic eruption since 79 A.D.

It is formed in Naples in the Campanian Volcanic Arc, along the gulf of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Currently, the state of Mount Vesuvius is dormant; however, it is considered the only active volcano still pending another volcanic eruption.

So, today we present you with 12 Interesting Mount Vesuvius Facts you never knew!

1. 12 Interesting Mount Vesuvius Facts

1.1. Formation of Explosive Mount Vesuvius

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Along the Campanian Volcanic Arc in Italy, there are only three volcanoes: Etna, Stromboli, and Vesuvius. They were formed due to the converging collision of the African plates and European Techtonic plates.

Vesuvius is considered to be a young mountain, nearly 200,000 years old. The active cone of Vesuvius still alters its measurements after events of major eruptions.

It has a total of eight major eruptions, some of which are after the Pompeii eruption in 79 A.D. Vesuvius observatory confirmed that the volcano was dormant for centuries before it hit the cities of Pompeii and other roman cities.

The volcano began eruptions quite a long time afterwards, but it still remained the notable Vesuvius for the eruptions in 79 A.D.

The later eruptions were still violent, but all but one weren’t as grave and destructive as the Pompeii tragedy.

1.2. Eruption of Vesuvius and The Destruction of Pompeii

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On 24th August 79 A.D, the violent eruptions of Mount Vesuvius destroyed a roman ancient city named Pompeii.

During the early Romanian times, civilians of 20,000 people used to live at the base of the Bay of Naples, near the city of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Some of the small Roman cities were destroyed during the major eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Among the dangerous eruptions that occurred under the cause of Mount Vesuvius, the Pompeii Eruption still remains the most famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

Pompeii was a small hubbub city of people, merchants, farmers, and many more normal happy people.

When the Pompeii eruption occurred, the people who lived there were still unaware that Mount Vesuvius was an active volcano at that time.

Unfortunately, everything that Pompeii had built had to come to an end at noon on 24th August 79 A.D. At noon, Mount Vesuvius erupted once again after remaining dormant for a considerably long gap of years.

The Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted and spread large volcanic eruption clouds along with toxic volcanic gases all over 10 miles along Pompeii and Herculaneum.

It released harmful lava flows with hot ash, mud, and volcanic materials from the crater of Vesuvius. The people who stayed in Pompeii at that time were sent to death in no time due to the large cloud of volcanic gas.

The gas suffocated the civilians, and they all were dead by the morning of the 25th of August. Some people in Pompeii hid in stones or in cellars until the volcanic eruptions subsided.

The city of Herculaneum was not much affected due to the protection of a west coast wind. However, a large volcanic cloud soon appeared, rich in toxic gas and pumice stones.

The cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were quickly buried and completely destroyed. The people who lived there were forced to flee due to the number of rocks erupted and hardened lava showering upon their heads from the giant crater of Mount Vesuvius.

The volcanic activity of this eruption lasted for almost 25 hours, which is literally nothing. In such a short time, Vesuvius mount spread its volcanic ash and superheated air to the surrounding towns, and the Pompeiian victims died instantly.

Due to this specific Pompeii tragedy, Mount Vesuvius has become such a famous volcano in the world, or rather one of the most famous active volcanoes out there!

1.3. The City of Pompeii Became an Archaeological Site

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The previous eruption that occurred in 79 A.D. led Pompeii to become a buried city under the volcanic pyroclastic flows due to the eruption.

The buried Pompeii consists of several thousand ruined cities and frozen dead bodies of nearly 2000 men, women, and children inclusive.

When the city of Pompeii was found underneath the molten lava flows and hot cinders, archaeologists witnessed the last moment of the Pompeiians during the last major eruption in 79 A.D.

The Pompeii airfield was stuffed with poisonous volcanic andesite lava flows and hot ash, earning the name of the most violent explosive eruptions in mainland Europe.

The ash blocked the layers of the dead bodies when they were retrieved. During the time of the eruption, the ash fell along with the hot pumice rocks on the roofs of the Pompeii city houses, causing a tragic farewell to the Pompeiians.

The whole story of the Pompeii tragedy remains one of the top Mount Vesuvius facts to date.

The Mount Vesuvius eruptions occurred relativity throughout several years of gap and explosive eruptions, which is why it is known as one of the most dangerous volcanoes out there.

1.4. The Descriptions of Pompeiian Eruption Have Been Found in Letters

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During the era of 79 A.D., a 17-year-old boy named Pliny the Younger survived the devastating chaos of the Vesuvius eruption and became the only surviving eyewitness account for the future.

Pliny the Younger lived in Misenum, 18 miles away from the Bay of Naples. He watched the major Vesuvius eruption from afar and wrote it down in letters sent to his friend, Tacitus.

Later on, this boy became a famous roman author, poet, and administrator. Because of the descriptions in his letters, we can retrieve such detailed information about the horrific events of the Pompeii Eruption.

In his letters to Tacitus, Pliny The Younger wrote about how the Pompeiians tried to defend themselves by covering their heads with pillows and hiding behind cells.

However, soon after, a giant cloud of hot ash and toxic gas appeared and finished off their livelihood.

The boy had an uncle named Pliny The Elder, who used to be the commander of the fleet in Naples. In order to reassure the Pompeiians about the eruption, he had to move ashore to the Bay of Naples and was killed by the toxic airfield.

Pliny The Younger was lucky enough to survive such a mass-killing disaster that destroyed half of the roman cities in Italy. Since the eruption details were found in his letters, it is also known as the ‘Plinian eruptions.’

1.5. Mount Vesuvius Caused Earthquakes as a Warning

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Before the disastrous eruption in Pompeii, a continuation of major quakes continued for at least 5 months. It is considered a massive hint that Vesuvius kept giving the civilians so they could vacate it earlier.

But ironically enough, the Pompeiian people never knew that they were living near an active dangerous volcano this whole time. They took the earthquakes as a natural calamity factor and didn’t think much about it.

Soon after, the fateful day arrived, and the explosive eruptions of the great Mount Vesuvius were finally unleashed. Later on, it again erupted in the year 1631, and this time it killed a population total of 4000 people, nearly.

In 1995 B.C., Mount Vesuvius caused an Avellino Eruption that was even more destructive than the Pompeiian one.

Herculaneum and Pompeii, these two cities, were buried by volcanic ash up to 6 to 7 meters deep in the Italian peninsula.

1.6. There are Two Volcanoes that Form Mount Vesuvius

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This dangerous active volcano is not making violent eruptions consistently, all alone. Yes, you heard it right.

Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano that is formed by two volcanoes and consists of harmful toxic volcanic mud, pumice rocks, and pyroclastic flows.

Mount Vesuvius has another volcano attached to it, which is called Mount Somma. During the previous eruptions, the Mount Somma caldera was formed at the crater of the mountain.

Mount Somma was formed from the crater region of Mount Vesuvius, and that’s why the two mountains are attached and the volcano eruption becomes so explosive along with the pyroclastic flow.

Vesuvius mount is the only active volcano among all other Italian volcanoes. Other volcanoes in Europe are Mount Etna, Stromboli, Vulcano, and Campi Freglei.

Vesuvius’s latest major eruption has been noted in the year of 1944.

Since Vesuvius remained quiet, there is still terror and a fair assumption that Mount Vesuvius will erupt soon.

1.7. Mount Vesuvius Caused Eight Major Eruptions

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Within 17,000 years, Vesuvius erupted eight times, causing major destruction. The observatory for Mount Vesuvius did not come to light until the 18th century.

Several eruptions took place one after the other after the year 79 A.D. Every time it erupted, it killed a considerable amount of civilians on its way.

The rocks erupted with pumice and harmful molten lava flows, and the victims were killed, ranging from 100 to 16,000 people each time.

Among the eight eruptions, the most notable is the one eruption of the 18th century, which swallowed a ton of Bronze age settlements.

In the Italian map, the produced magma from the African plate was responsible for establishing explosive volcanic eruptions in the peninsula of Italy.

1.8. Mount Vesuvius Has Become a National Park

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The region around the crater base of Mount Vesuvius is now a National Park, as per declared by the Government of Italy on 5th June 1995.

It has evolved and become a tourist spot in Italy for foreigners.

Vesuvius mountain is covered with fertile soil and slopes, which enhanced the growth of orchids, scrubs, and vineyards. The park is established for the preservation of different animal pieces, plants, and even geological artefacts along archaeological sites.

Even in the lower plains of Vesuvius, the slopes are well-vegetated. The area along Vesuvius mountain, which is considered a national park now, has visits of over 2 million tourists yearly.

The slopes of the mountains are cultivated from time to time with fruits and vegetables; even though, ironically, they will be completely destroyed once the eruption hits again.

1.9. Mount Vesuvius Soil is Best for Cultivation

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As mentioned earlier, the soil of Vesuvius is formed by molten rocks and hardened lava flows, which are rich in minerals for cultivation purposes.

The Mount Vesuvius soil is enriched in phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium. During the summer, the vineyards get water consistently and slowly due to the kind of Vesuvius soil.

The spongy soil of Mount Vesuvius provides enough irrigation for the vineyards to grow freely all year round. When the weather gets warmer, the porous soil slowly releases water.

1.10. The Origin of the Name Vesuvius

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Mount Vesuvius was named after the Greek God Hercules. Hercules was also known as ‘Ves’ or ‘Vesouvios,’ which means ‘The Son of Ves.’

The word ‘fesf,’ which in the Oscan language means smoke, may have inspired the name. All of these assumptions were made and debated by historians at that time.

But ironically, the final theory about the Vesuvius name mystery says something else.

The root ‘Ves’ is considered a Proto-Indo-European phrase, which actually means the word ‘Hearth.’

1.11. Measurements of the Mount Vesuvius

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Best known for the malicious disaster event in the city of Pompeii and other roman cities, Mount Vesuvius, has huge diametric ranges in every aspect.

The depth of the crater or caldera, which keeps enlarging after every major eruption, is about 745 feet or 230 meters in total.

The height of this active European mountain is about 4203 feet or 1281 meters.

Last but not least, Vesuvius has a diameter measurement of about 1804 to 2132 feet or 550 to 650 meters.

Mount Vesuvius is huge and extensive in every way, which makes this one of the most incredible facts about Mount Vesuvius.

1.12. Mount Vesuvius Will Strike Again

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It is well-researched and confirmed by the observatory that Mount Vesuvius will erupt again soon. Even though it has not erupted since 1944, it is currently reposing itself for another eruption soon.

The region that will be affected the most once Vesuvius takes a hit again consists of more than 2 million people presently.

Mount Vesuvius’s destruction is brutal enough, throughout all the notable eruptions it has caused, because of its stratovolcanic complexity. The pyroclastic flows are terrific when it comes to taking down the lives of the civilians nearby.

Even though the volcano will explode once again, it is assured that there will be a fair warning from a month before the eruption occurs.

So everyone could get sufficient time to relocate themselves or flee from the place.

2. Other Tiny Facts about Mount Vesuvius

1. The temperature of the hot molten lava of Vesuvius is pretty high. The Pompeiian eruption spread over 100,000 times equivalent thermal heat to that of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs at the end of World War

The temperature used to be 520 degrees Celsius based on the archaeological shreds of evidence found. The heat of the lava was so boiling that plenty of people became incapable of fleeing away since the heat exploded their skulls.

Later on, researchers even found that the heat of the Vesuvius fused the brain tissues of the victims, sending them to death momentarily.

It would be evident to conclude that the victims of the 79 A.D. eruption had faced a horrific, tragic end to their lives.

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2. Mount Vesuvius crater and the explosions usually consist of andesite rocks, lava, and pyroclastic rocks.

Both of them are highly dangerous and are considered deadly for the intake and health of people.

Thus, Vesuvius did not take long to destroy Pompeii city, Herculaneum, and other roman cities around Italy.

3. In the year 1631’s December, the Vesuvius eruption took place once again and destroyed several cities and villages again.

The inhabitants of those settlements and their homes remained buried beneath Vesuvius’ volcanic ash.

This time, the ready volcano killed nearly 3000 civilian people before taking its reposing session again.

5. Soon after, on April 7th, 1906, the volcano erupted again after being dormant for years. Terrifically enough, the mountain exposed and spread considerably higher amounts of heated gas and lava than any of the times before.

This time, even though the action was more horrifying, the effect was lesser, fortunately. But it still managed to take down 100 lives of people who were staying nearby or were unable to escape on time.

Even today, Mount Vesuvius is regarded as one of the planet’s most deadly volcanoes.

3. Conclusion

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Mount Vesuvius has provided the world with horrifying events for several centuries since its formation is nearly 25,000 years old. So, these were the 12 Interesting Mount Vesuvius Facts.

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When will Mount Vesuvius erupt again? The answer still lies in a haze. But scientists have confirmed that an eruption will soon be pending.

So, the Mountain Vesuvius is still active, and the days are counting.

Author

  • Sampurna Laha

    Hi! This is Sampurna. A passionate writer with an obsession for words and poetry. Writing about restaurants, food & drinks is uniquely my cup of tea.

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