Underwater volcano found off Sicily

June 25, 2006

Italian scientists say a large volcano lurks just underneath the surface of the Mediterranean south of Sicily.

The discovery came during exploration of the underwater remnants of an island that caused an international dispute in 1831, The Independent reported. When the island rose above the surface, it was claimed by Britain, France and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

The claimants gave the island different names -- with the British calling it Graham Island, the French calling it Giulia and the Sicilians going with Ferdinandea. The dispute was rendered moot when the island collapsed.

Professor Giovanni Lanzafame of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology and his colleagues found that the island is one peak of a much larger horseshoe-shaped volcano -- which he named Empedocles, after a Greek philosopher who lived in Sicily.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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