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This appears to be a very interesting new theory that comes with a bold (and controversial) study: 40,000 years ago the volcanoes in Europe blew the final whistle for our close relatives, the Neanderthals. The picture provided by the researchers seem consistent with the chronology, though some scholars remain unconvinced. Other theories suggest that modern humans played an important role in the demise of the Neanderthals in a variety of ways including warfare. This is, as far as I know, the first plausible theory on a “catastrophic explanation”. The study is published in the October issue of the journal “Current Anthropology”. Probably a wave of controversy will follow soon by the “orthodox academicians”.


Sternstunden - Wunder des Sonnensystems, Ausst...

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The Bronze Age relic known as “The Nebra Disk” was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries just before the end of millenium, in 1999. Believed to be made around 17th century BCE, the disk is thought to be designed as a kind of “astronomical clock” by the priests of a Bronze Age central European sun-cult. Now some archaeologists suggest another point, not contradicting this generally accepted view but questioning the “function” of the disk after a very serious natural catastrophe changed the circumstances of the Ancient World.

The mega eruption of the Thera volcano in Santorini island around 3600 years ago, not only shook most of the Bronze Age civilizations and cause some of them to collapse (Minos and Harappa) or fall into a serious crisis (Egypt and Babylonia), but also changed the climate conditions harshly all over the world. A “volcanic winter” caused by the ash clouds that covered the sky, deeply affected the lives of millions of people: Contaminated waters caused by the acid rains and sulphur (remember the Exodus story, which said “there were blood on rivers in all Egypt”); crop failures which resulted famines on many agricultural lands; unusually cool summers and deadly cold winters.



It’s been a seismically very active weekend with two powerful earthquakes and three erupting volcanoes around the world. It seems not only the infamous Pacific Ring of Fire but elsewhere around the world was shaken with tremors and thrown out ashes and lava. Since the great quake near Sumatra island last month, earth’s crust has been moving again and tsunami alerts issued/cancelled very often. A Yemeni volcano erupted and killed at least two people while many more were missing; a Java volcano became very active and gave signals for a major eruption; and there occured two great quakes, both above magnitude 7 while several M +6 tremors were felt around the world.


World’s crust keeps moving and shaking recently. Along with various earthquakes from Indonesia to Spain and Greece, volcanoes are becoming active one by one. The Shiveluch volcano at Kamchatka is the latest one. It’s been restless since last year and now news reports are saying it’s spewing ash to 6 kilometers high. Kamchatka Peninsula is one of the geologically most active regions of the world and a very unpleasant scenario could be a strong earthquake triggered by a huge volcanic eruption that could cause a chain of activities from Russia to Alaska.

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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, August 12 (RIA Novosti) – The Shiveluch volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East is emitting ash to the height of 6,000 meters (20,000 feet), the local geophysics service said Sunday.

In the past twenty-four hours, about 170 local tremors have been registered round Mount Shiveluch, Kamchatka’s northernmost volcano with an altitude of 3,283 meters (10,771 feet). The volcano began erupting in December 2006.

Satellite-made pictures show that clouds of volcanic ash are spreading to the distance of 90 km (56 miles) southeast of the volcano, posing threat to air flights.

There are more than 150 volcanoes on Kamchatka, 29 of them active.

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As if the climate related disasters not enough, the Earth’s crust began trembling violently again. Yesterday’s earthquake at Indonesia did not create tsunamis but some experts mentioned their concerns about the already very active volcanoes of the region. Can this quake trigger volcanic activity around the Archipelago? Establishment’s scientists say the probability is very low, while some geologists think the opposite. We’ll have the answers soon.

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A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake that shook Indonesia‘s main island of Java early Thursday, including the capital Jakarta, could trigger activity at some of the island’s many volcanoes, experts said.

An official at a seismology center points to earthquake readings. A powerful 7.5-magnitude earthquake that shook Indonesia's main island of Java early Thursday could trigger activity at some of the islands many volcanoes, experts said.(AFP/File/Patrick Lin)

The undersea quake, centred about 110 kilometres (70 miles) east of the capital Jakarta and off the north coast of Java, occurred just after midnight (1700 GMT), rattling buildings and sending panicked residents onto the streets.
“We are closely monitoring Mount Ceremai and Mount Slamet,” Surono, head of the energy ministry’s Volcanology Centre told Elshinta radio, referring to two volcanoes on densely populated Java.
“If the pressure at the volcanoes is quite high, it may trigger volcanic activity,” he said.
The Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said the probability of such an event however was low.

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