Watch: Mount Etna puffs giant smoke rings in ‘extraordinary’ phenomenon

May 24, 2024

The smoke circles, known as volcanic vortex rings, are actually made of condensed gases and water vapour. Mount Etna is one of a handful of volcanoes around the world that produces the rings, and does so prolifically, but the latest emissions are exceptional, scientists say. The following morning, it became clear that these puffs were creating “an impressive quantity” of vortex rings, he said. “It’s really something extraordinary and completely innocuous.”The previous time it happened at Mount Etna was last December, said Giuseppe Barbagallo, a guide at the South Etna Alpine Guides Group. Magma climbs up Mount Etna through a central open conduit which constantly releases gas, meaning smoke is almost always emanating from its top.