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Empedocles volcano
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An underwater volcano has been discovered just off the shores of Sicily.
The volcanic structure, which incorporates peaks previously thought to be separate volcanoes, was named Empedocles after the Greek philosopher who named the four classic elements of earth, air, fire and water.
Legend has it that the philosopher died by throwing himself into Mount Etna, the nearby Sicilian volcano.
Giovanni Lanzafame, who works for Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology and who led the research, said Empedocles was at least 400 metres high.
The base of the volcano is 30km long and 25 km wide, making it Italy's largest underwater volcano.

"At this point, there's no imminent danger of an eruption" - Giovanni Lanzafame.

The volcano is largely inactive but it had numerous fumaroles, like the ones at Yellowstone National Park in the United States.
Empedocles was discovered after research into the submerged volcanic island of Ferdinandea just off Sicily's southern coast which had been thought before of being the tip of a small volcano.
It turns out that it was just a part of Empedocles.
The island of Ferdinandea has erupted out of the sea, due to volcanic activity, several times in recorded history.
Underwater eruptions were described during the first Punic War of 264-241 BC.
It last emerged in 1831, before submerging again. It is now about 7 metres below the surface of the water.

"People used to think that there were small centres of emission, distant from each other. The hypothesis made by Mr. Lanzafame is that this is a singular volcano that, like alongside Etna as an example, can have a central eruption or a series of lateral eruptions" - Cesare Corselli, president of the National Inter-University Consortium for Marine Science.

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