Home 9 Blog 9 The rings of Mount Etna
Der Ätna fasziniert uns immer wieder aufs neue! Erlebe die Ringe des Ätna auf unseren Touren!

The rings of Mount Etna

In the last few days, Mount Etna has once again offered us a magnificent spectacle. This time it is not lava fountains or lava flows, but rings of gas that attract photographers and tourists.

Since the beginning of April 2024, Mount Etna has been puffing one ring after another as if it were smoking a pipe.

How are the rings of Mount Etna formed?

The rings (technical name: volcanic vortex rings) do not consist of smoke, but of gas that escapes from the underground magma. They only form under certain conditions: the gas must rise quickly upwards in a narrow, round and regular vent, as after an explosion of a gas bubble in the magma. The gas rises faster in the centre of the vent than at the edges, where it is slowed down by friction. As a result, the gas begins to rotate around itself. This is how these rings can form, which then rise further upwards or are blown away by the wind.

The gas rings of Mount Etna: they only form when the right conditions prevail


Record holder Etna

No volcano in the world produces as many gas rings as Mount Etna. It emitted around 5000 rings back in 2000. Since July 2023, we have also been able to observe countless gas rings from the main crater Bocca Nuova.

The current rings are mainly coming from an opening that formed on the northeastern rim of Southeast Crater on 2 April. This opening has since produced hundreds, if not thousands, of gas rings! Etna is therefore already known as the “Woman of the Rings”. The Sicilians call their volcano “Mamma Etna”. Etna is therefore a woman.

Etna’s highest crater never ceases to fascinate!


You too can experience the gas rings of Mount Etna!

We can currently observe rings of Mount Etna every day on our tours. These are our most popular tours:

Chat on WhatsApp!
Scan the code