Unexplained Aerial Phenomenon: Enigmatic Rings Above Mount Etna Spark Theories of Extraterrestrial Presence

Volcanic smoke rings are rare, especially when this numerous, and scientists weren’t sure until recently how they formed.

Rare smoke rings sighted above Mount Etna, and more from around the world

They’re not UFOs, angel halos, a bit of Gandalf wizardry or a “giant smoking and blowing rings,” as one commenter joked.

Smoke rings on Mount Edna. This was observed once before in 2013/14.  (References in body text) : r/Damnthatsinteresting

The series of otherworldly photos Maria Liotta took from her home in Bronte, Sicily, Italy, on April 5, 2024, show a bizarre phenomenon known as “volcanic smoke rings.”

Smoke rings over Mt. Etna, Sicily, Italy, on April 5, 2024. (Maria Liotta)

The rings arose from Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano. Etna rises 11,000 feet above the island of Sicily in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. The volcano erupts frequently, and its explosions have been documented for more than 3,500 years.

Smoke rings over Mt. Etna, Sicily, Italy, on April 5, 2024. (Maria Liotta)

Until recently, how the smoke rings form wasn’t well understood. Formation requires a calm atmosphere and a circular volcanic vent. And, technically, it isn’t really smoke.

A smoke ring rises above Mount Etna, an active volcano on the island of...  | Download Scientific Diagram

When hot volcanic gases are released suddenly from the vent in a short pulse, the gases rush upwards and create a cloud, not unlike plane contrails. While the smoke rings have been documented at volcanoes worldwide, multiple displays like this one are extremely rare.

Smoke rings over Mt. Etna, Sicily, Italy, on April 5, 2024. (Maria Liotta)


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