How the eruption of Thera changed the world

How the eruption of Thera changed the world
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Category: News

Posted by on 25 Feb 2008

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The volcanic eruption of Thera must have well affected major parts of the world. The island of Santorini, as we see it today, is a result of the volcanic eruption that destroyed most of Thera, caused gigantic tidal sea waves, caused damages on the natural environment and possibly ravaged the entire Minoan civilization.

It was about 3,600 years ago when a volcanic explosion created the famous caldera that we today see in the middle of Thera. The volcano spewed lava, smoke, ash. The eruption was 121,440 feet high into the air and released 60 cubic kilometers of magma. Ash from this explosion has been surprisingly found in far away lands such as Greenland, North America and China. The magnitude and force of the eruption was comparable to several atomic bombs detonating within a split-second of each other. In fact, volcanic debris has been found surrounding Santorini to an extent of 30 kilometers in every direction with an average thickness of 100 feet.

The Minoan Civilization of Santorini seems to have disappeared without a trace following the explosion. Strangely, no human remains have ever been found which is indicative that the inhabitants were given warnings of the impending danger and abandoned the island. It is believed that the explosion triggered of tsunamis 200 feet high that reached the Cretan coastal areas and destroyed its naval strength, the palaces and the settlements. Therefore the volcano of Santorini must have been responsible for the destruction of the whole Minoan civilization. The town of Akrotiri faced the same fate as the city of Pompeii in Italy, as they were both buried under tons of lava and ash.

The exact year in which the volcano actually erupted is still unknown, though geologists using radio-carbon have fixed it at about 1600-1500 BC. This date corresponds with the mysterious and sudden disappearance of the Minoan Civilization. The absence of human casualties is surprising. Considering that the volcanic explosion on Thera was five times more powerful than that of Krakatoa, Indonesia, in 1883 which killed 40,000 people in a few hours, this event is still unbelievable to our mind.

The eruption of Thera is seen by some as a credible explanation for the disappearance of Atlantis, one of the Biblical plagues and the Exodus of Moses from Egypt.

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