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Mount Etna

Mount Etna, or Etna (Italian: Etna or Mongibello ; Sicilian: Muncibbeḍḍu or a Muntagna; Latin: Aetna; Greek: Αἴτνα and Αἴτνη), is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Metropolitan City of Catania, between the cities of Messina and Catania. It lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It is one of the tallest active volcanoes in Europe, and the tallest peak in Italy south of the Alps with a current height (July 2021) of 3,357 m (11,014 ft), though this varies with summit eruptions. Satellite images reveal that Mount Etna has erupted so much in 2021 that it has grown about 100 feet (30 meters) in height in just six months time, and the southeastern crater is now the tallest part of the volcano.

Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 (459 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km (87 miles). This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Only Mount Teide on Tenerife in the Canary Islands surpasses it in the whole of the European–North-African region west of the Black Sea.

In Greek mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under this mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky and thunder and king of gods, and the forges of Hephaestus were said also to be underneath it.

Mount Etna is one of the world's most active volcanoes and is in an almost constant state of activity. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations. In June 2013, it was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article Mount Etna, which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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