back to article Underwater Greek volcano brewing Lara Croft style earthquake

Angelina-Jolie-inna-wetsuit related news on the science wires this morning, as boffins in America announce that the underwater volcano off the shore of the famous, beautiful Greek island of Santorini is showing signs of trouble coming. “If the caldera erupts underwater, it could cause local tsunamis and affect boat traffic, …


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  1. AndrueC Silver badge

    >Mediterranean cruise ship captains seem to be a more casual bunch than many might have previously thought

    I laughed. I probably shouldn't have, mind you, but I did.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Damn it, Sir, That's In Bad Taste!

      But I laughed too.

  2. min


    ...liked Rhona Mitra better as Lara Croft.

    not that AJ is a bad choice. it's just that one cannot control childhood crushes you see, and it felt like EIDOS cheated me when they got rid of RM.

    holy ferk. did i just admit that on teh interwebs?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: always...

      I think it's a small demographic, but you're not alone!

      /mine'd be the one with the FHM (circa '97) in the pocket!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Does it really matter who plays her, as long as she is oversupplied in the bulgarian airbag department?

  3. frank ly

    GPS underwater?

    Did he put the GPS monitoring devices underwater? If so, how deep can they be and still work?

    1. Bob Dunlop

      Re: GPS underwater?

      The GPS systems were all on land on the islands surrounding and in the caldera. GPS signal cannot penetrate water to any great depth.

    2. Vulch

      Re: GPS underwater?

      There's two peaks above the water in the centre of the caldera formed by smaller eruptions since the big boom. I suspect the GPS devices have been put there. From vague memory of having been there nearly 40 years ago the names of the peaks translate as "Big Burnt" and "Little Burnt".

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: GPS underwater?

        "New" and "Old", but yes - there's two blackened lumps of rock with the sort of 'hot springs' that are big on grey mud, lost flip-flops and comedic brown stains to your beachwear.

        1. B_K

          Re: GPS underwater?

          Quite a bit bigger than lumps of rock - We walked up to the top of the biggest one two years ago and it's surprising how large it actually is, with quite a few different craters. It's also a bit treacherous as the volcanic rock debris has a nasty habit of slipping when you walk over it.

          Also It was quite obvious that there was activity still occurring as you could see steam and bubbles in the middle of the Caldera..

          Talking with one of the locals there was more concern about an area I think to the East of Santorini where the sea bed has risen considerably, and there supposedly are no fish there anymore.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: GPS underwater?

            That's probably the submarine volcano Kolumbos to the NE of Santorini which is only about 15m beneath the surface. It's seismically extremely active, but hasn't had any known eruptions since the 17th Century - when it covered much of the surrounding area in ash and pumice.

      2. Smallbrainfield

        Two peaks above water?

        The Lara Croft references just keep on coming.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: GPS underwater?

        You're good. There are two islands in the caldera, all formed by resurgent vulcanism since the caldera was formed. They're Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni which translate as New Burnt and Old Burnt respectively. They've been intermittently active for about 2000 years with the last explosive eruption in 1939-40 followed by quiet dome building in 1950 (IIRC).

        This sort of deformation isn't uncommon in calderas as magma is regularly injected into the underlying magma chamber and then withdrawn again. It may, or may not presage more vulcanism in the very near future. If you want a good example of one that scared people witless a while back, the small town of Pozzuoli west of Naples sits in the middle of the Campi Flegrei caldera which last had a minor eruption in 1538 when the completely new volcano Monte Nuovo popped up in the middle of some fields. Between 1982 and 1984 they experienced thousands of small quakes and the ground bulging by 40cm - at its peak the town was rising by 4mm per day! Unsurprisingly, there were predictions of an imminent eruption, so the town was evacuated. After a few tense months the ground began to deflate and the area returned to its usual levels of seismicity.

        And Campi Flegrei is a real monster of a volcano, about 37kya it produced 200km3 of white hot foam that now underlies most of the Bay of Naples. About 2 million people live in and around it who might need to be evacuated in a hurry. And you've seen what Italian traffic is like on a good day.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: two islands in the caldera

          Surely the bigger conundrum is, if the first one's 'paleo' and the second one's 'neo', what's the next one going to be called?

          (Yes, go on, post that 'Trinity' gag you've just thought of...)

        2. Vulch

          Re: GPS underwater?

          Hurrah. I think it was late 1973 I was there, school trip on the SS Uganda. The kids doing geography O-Level were supposed to get a field trip to Old Burnt which got cancelled, the rest of us went ashore for a couple of hours though by the time those of us who couldn't afford a donkey got to the top it was time to start back down again...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Greece planning countrywide insurance fraud!

    Not sure of the IT angle here but rumour has it that the sister of the boat captain owns a old casio calculator.

    Beyond that some people burn there shops down to claim on the insurance, Greece is going for a larger scale claim perhaps. Either that or hoping to cash in on the tsunami torrists.

    As for underwater GPS, that is probably worth an article in itself as GPS radio's will only go a efw meters at best underwater so you need relay boy's - but interesting stuff and worth more detail than for what is in all effect a storay about a rock that may move soon, but has not yet, but might.

    Alas the story "the rock that would" is not exactly going to grab anybodies attention beyond the type of people who clean oversized dandruff from carpets.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Relay Boys?

    "As for underwater GPS, that is probably worth an article in itself as GPS radio's will only go a efw meters at best underwater so you need relay boy's"

    Are these small children specially trained to write down the coordinates and then dive down to inform the user of their position?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Relay Boys?

      Oh boey

      1. Severen

        Re: Relay Boys?


        Mine's the one with the copy of "Pedants' Weekly." in the pocket.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Change my icon to cynical, but:

    "The Santorini caldera is awake again and rapidly deforming at levels never seen before"

    Never seen before in what, the last six years the prof has been measuring? Or based on a guess for the last 3500 years? Or from when it last erupted in 1950? Perhaps it might help to look up the translations of 'Nea Kameni' and 'Palaia Kameni' before assuming cataclysmic doom is the only option. The natural Greek reaction to a lava flow will be to fence it off and charge for entry, closing at 2pm and all day Monday.

    As for the film's level of accuracy, it starts to fall just after they all point at a spot on the map, then the boat turns to sail off in exactly the opposite direction. Oh, and the growling comedy shark. But still, wetsuit, Jolie...

    1. deadlockvictim

      Re: Change my icon to cynical, but:

      On that note, the Greek government should insure Greece for about 500 billion Swiss francs (stabler currency, you see) and then pray that it does/doesn't explode (depending on your viewpoint).

      On the other hand, if a really big eruption at Santorini was able to sink Atlantis, God knows what this one can do.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: insure Greece for about 500 billion Swiss francs

        Hmm... Who's going to lend them the cash to pay the premiums..?

  7. Ian McNee

    Missed Subhead Opportunity?

    Hot wet Greek action leads to huge bulge and imminent earth-moving eruption?

    No, sorry - too obvious even for Vulture Towers.

  8. Anonymous John

    I was there for the 1976 annular eclipse. And have a photo of Patrick Moore on a donkey to prove it.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Sounds like a result. I was there last year.

      All I have is little bits of vicious black sand, an aversion to cruise-ship tourists and a lingering sense of having been considerably over-charged for basic goods and services to prove it. Still, my desktop wallpaper photos have show an improvement.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      On a donkey?

      A mantelpiece would save you cleaning the carpets.

    3. Robert E A Harvey

      on a donkey?

      Just the one?

      Poor bloody beast.

      I sat opposite him on a train back from the Liverpool garden festival. I am less than svelte, he is, well you know. The carriage wrecked a wheel bearing under where we were sitting.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: on a donkey?

        Ah, but these are Greek donkeys, not your standard Skeggy beach mule. Trained in carrying Larson-esque tourists up 800 feet of vertical shale. The donkey probably thought he'd got off lightly. Are there signs of a grin on its face and a lightness in its step in that photo?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not the only underwater shooter out there :)

    I used to have a couple NPO Arsenal "dual purpose" harpoons.

    Those came out off the factory line slightly later than the Heckler & Koch P11 and were supposedly for civilian use.

    Very "supposedly". 60cm long (can be carried on dual belt holster on your thigh), 5m-10m lethal range, pusher-less hydraulic design. 9mm solid steel heavy arrows. The bloody thing could split a rock at the end of its 5m tether at maximum power settings. You needed nearly Arnie-level strength to load it at that setting though so the most I could manage was about half of that which made it effective to around 2-3m underwater.

    Unfortunately the hydraulic pusher-less design happened to be extremely vulnerable to dirty water so the blooms in the Black Sea in the 80-es put mine out of use. There was no fish left to shoot at too :(

  10. TrixyB

    Reminds me of an old Amiga Classic....

    Indiana Jones and the fate of Atlantis!

    Look at volcano...

    Insert disk 9...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sealed magazine in underwater rifle....

    that you have to return to the manufacturer to replace the magazine?

    Can they sue Apple for copying the idea, or did the iThingies come first?

    1. Wupspups

      Re: Sealed magazine in underwater rifle....

      You misunderstand Grasshopper. Its a 5 shot pepper pot style pistol The 5 barrel clusters are pre-loaded in the factory. But the user can swap out the fired cluster with a fresh new one full of underwater banging fun.

      The thing is probably about as accurate as Jack Sparrow's flintlock pistol as the barrels are smooth bored. Underwater the range varies a lot .

      You also need a supply of PP9 batteries to fire the wee beastie.

  12. Steve Evans

    "If the caldera erupts underwater, it could cause local tsunamis and affect boat traffic, including cruise ships"

    Shhhhh! Keep your voice down... All those Italian captains jumping over the side could cause a Tsunami all on their own!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Well, never mind your Costa Capsizia

      Or Costa Armanallegra. Type 'MS Sea Diamond' into Google or YouTube. It's still down there somewhere.

  13. Richard Scratcher

    I feel cheated

    So, I click on a thumbnail of Angelina Jubblie in a wetsuit and find myself trying to ogle a page of text. I'm just not seeing the bigger picture: -(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I feel cheated

      I think the link you want is:


      1. Richard Scratcher
        Thumb Up

        Re: I feel cheated

        Maybe so but unless you share that folder, my dirty Mac can't access it.

  14. Dennis Wilson


    So biggest volcanic eruption on earth in 3600 years that wiped out a complete civilization is going to kick off again.

    Is it too late to cancel the greek loan?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dec 21st 2012

    What are the odds...

    Remind me not to go on a round the world cruise anytime soon...

    Just a thought, but what if Yellowstone AND Santorini go KAFECKINGBOOM on the same day?

    Yellowstone has been affected by other earthquakes including the Indonesian one, so all it would take is one nearby to destabilise the caldera and its Game Over.

    cough San Andreas/Hayward Fault Big One /cough

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