But like an ancient rock band that keeps cranking out the albums for its die-hard fans, Vesuvius never stopped doing what it does best, and has been showering its neighborhood with ash and debris once or twice a century. In fact, its last eruption was in the decidedly non-biblical year of 1944 CE.
Perhaps the most notable of these eruptions was the one that took place in 1631. Although it wasn't as powerful as the one that knocked out Pompeii, it killed 6,000 people over the course of a three-day mini apocalypse. Featuring earthquakes, tsunamis, poisonous gases, rocks raining from the sky, and lahars, it was possibly the closest thing to hell on earth we've ever seen. But even though it killed more people than the eruption of 79 CE, it's largely been forgotten about.
Joseph Wright of Derby
"PLAY YOUR EARLY STUFF."
It's much the same deal with the Vesuvius eruption in 2000 BCE. Archaeologists working in the nearby town of Avellino stumbled upon a Bronze Age village which, like Pompeii, was sealed under a thick deposit of ash and pumice. It might warm your heart to know that there's evidence the nearby residents probably got out -- footprints leading away from the site were well-preserved -- though no one was probably having a great day.
And that aforementioned last eruption, the one in 1944? That one killed 26 people, although it's better-known for almost wiping out an entire American bomber group. On March 18, after days of small-scale seismic activity, the volcano erupted and began spewing lava, rocks, and ash onto the locals and military personnel stationed near there. The debris from the eruption damaged a number of planes' guns, controls, engines, and wings. So all the main plane parts, then. 88 were completely destroyed, though if it's any consolation, one of them got a rad as hell picture of the eruption as it was going on:
US Air Force
Definite potential for an album cover here.
Wow, with that kind of relentless history of death and destruction, it's no wonder that today, the area around Vesuvius has been evacuated ... Oh, what's that? 600,000 people live within nine miles of it? Oh.
When he isn't accusing extinction-level events of being plagiarists right to their dumb faces, Adam can be found on Twitter or concocting awful...ly good puns with his writing partner, Marina.
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