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Rare display as Mount Etna puffs ‘smoke rings’

In a mesmerizing display, Italy’s majestic Mount Etna captivated visitors yesterday with its breathtaking volcanic vortex rings.

Volcanic vortex rings are natural, near-perfect circles of gas emitted from a volcano under specific conditions and scientists say Mount Etna emits more than any other volcano on earth.

It is a relatively rare phenomenon caused by a constant release of vapours and gases.

The gaseous mass ascends rapidly through the central part of the conduit, promoting the formation of rings by wrapping the gas upon itself in a vortex motion.

Giuseppe Barbagallo, of the South Etna Alpine Guides Group, said the last time this happened at the Etna volcano was last December.

The rings have led locals to re-name the volcano “Lady of the Rings”.

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