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20 Astonishing Facts About Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is one of the most famous volcanic mountains in the world. Many people flock to Italy just to see this natural structure. Here are 20 interesting facts about this famous geographical landmark.

  1. Mount Vesuvius is located on the Gulf of Naples approximately nine miles from the city of Naples.
  2. It is estimated by geologists that this volcano is 17,00 years old.

  3. Its base measures 30 miles.

  4. Mount Vesuvius measures 4,190 feet in height.

  5. It is the only volcano to have erupted in the last century on mainland Europe.

  6. In the last 2,000 years, Mount Vesuvius has erupted more than 50 times.

  7. The last time this volcano erupted was in 1944 during World War II.

  8. The 1944 eruption happened between May 18 and 24. It destroyed three villages. San Giorgio a Cremano, another local village, was also partially covered in lava.

  9. San Giorgio a Cremano’s residents believe a miracle occurred as the flow of lava stopped short of the steps of their local church.

  10. While people usually avoid living close to a volcano, there are over 3 million people living in close proximity to Mount Vesuvius.

  11. In 79AD, the most famous volcanic eruption of all time occurred. Mount Vesuvius killed thousands of people in the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum when it erupted for over a day.
  12. It is possible for the public to visit the remains of Pompeii where the ruins of the town’s structures still exist. There are also preserved artifacts found by archaeologists that the people of Pompeii would have used in their daily lives.

  13. Pompeii was eight kilometers from the volcano.

  14. Pliny the Younger, a local writer, was one of the survivors of the eruption that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum and his two letters are the only surviving accounts of the events that day. These suggest that many people attempted to run to a safe place but actually ran into the path of the volcano.

  15. Mount Vesuvius was declared a National Park in 1995.

  16. It is actually something called a stratovolcano which describes its conical shape.

  17. Mount Vesuvius is a volcano within a volcano and has two cones that are separated by a valley that is 3 miles long.

  18. It is possible for visitors to walk almost to the summit. In fact, the public can get as close as 200 meters from the summit and from there they can see the sulphuric smoke rising from within the volcano.

  19. Temperatures within the volcano can reach up to 999˚C and the pyroclastic flow can reach a speed of 450 mph.

  20. Due to coastal changes and seismic activity, Mount Vesuvius is in a different position to where it was located in Roman times. Although it is two miles inland now, it was once much closer to the sea and is estimated to be four meters higher now. 

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