Welcome to the fourth and final episode in our series on Campi Flegrei – Italy’s notorious supervolcano We have taken a detailed journey through the sands of time and uncovered every known step of Campi Flegrei’s history from its first cataclysmic mega eruption during the first phlegraean period forty thousand years ago, to the gigantic series of mega tsunamis generated by the eruption that ended the second phlegraean period roughly twelve thousand years ago. Then we continued forward to uncover the alarming frequency that made up the eruptions of the third phlegraean period which saw us journeying from eight thousand B.C. all the way up until the fifteen thirty eight AD eruption The links for all three prior episodes can be found down below in the description. In this video our level of detail drastically increases as we explore the events that would occur if Campi Flegrei erupted in modern times, only with a twist. We’re going to be using the most destructive super volcanic eruption known to man as a reference point for copy for the glaze explosivity index This means that Campi Flegrei in this analysis will be erupting at a volcanic explosivity index of eight The reason for this point of reference is to not only explore the devastation Campi Flegrei would unleash in this scenario But will also illustrate the worldwide effects of an incredibly powerful Super volcanic eruption by exploring what the world and humanity would look like following the scenario We will also be covering exactly how and why Campi Flegrei is so incredibly different and unique compared to any other volcano and super volcanic complex in the entire world, both extinct and active, and how the ground above it is acting as a stronger than normal prison for modern Campi Flegrei’s magma chamber that in The most unique circumstances renders the earth above it stronger than normal by an amazing extent which has up until today confined its eruption. Then we’re gonna dive right into present day and a simulation of a mega eruption I felt that a long video format was required for this final episode in order to do this incredible super volcano justice, I hope you understand. For those of you who aren’t a major fan of longer format videos I have broken down the video into parts with the links to each topic I’ll be covering posted in the description box below Feel free to skip ahead to parts that interest you most Please leave a comment letting me know if you like these longer format videos or if you prefer Shorter ones or a bit of both so I can factor that into future videos. To start I’ll be quickly covering some very important final questions as well as one new discovery made this year at Campi Flegrei So I hate to indulge in the I told you so type of behavior, but, I told you so! funnily enough during the time I was writing this script which I started during the end of April this year a conclusive result on a twenty nine thousand year old giant eruption has been documented, revealed, and finally listed as an accepted fact in scientific literature. This eruption was another giant one that spread a volcanic ash layer that covered more than one hundred and fifty thousand square kilometers within the epicenter of the eruption. The name given to this eruption is The Masseria Del Monte Tuff. How did this giant eruption hide from the eyes and minds of scientists that have been studying this complex for decades? the results Indicate that this eruption by Campi Flegrei was similar in scale to the Neapolitan yellow tuff caldera, which was created at the end of the second phlegraean period. The following statement reiterates what I have said in past episodes about the fact that trying to pinpoint every single eruption that has occurred at Campi Flegrei is near impossible because of the fact that any large eruption that follows it has a very good chance of completely concealing its existence by covering it up completely So I quote “The lack of thick traceable deposits for this eruption appeared to be the result of the eruption dynamics and their destruction and burial by more recent activities. This research highlights the benefits of investigating explosive eruption records preserved as ash fall in sedimentary records when attempting to accurately reconstruct the tempo and magnitude of past activity at highly productive volcanoes such as Campi Flegrei. In the last episode I clarified the fact that many historic Campi Flegrei eruptions both small and large have been hidden by the subsequent eruptions that occurred after them. Meaning there are many more eruptions that have occurred at Campi Flegrei than we can accurately assess, and this is going back over three hundred thousand years ago and possibly even further back in time. Many websites including those of notable scientific research institutions state that Campi Flegrei has erupted in the times that we have conclusively covered in our series but alongside that has also erupted during times as far back as three hundred and fifteen thousand years ago, two hundred and five thousand years ago, one hundred and fifty seven thousand years ago and also a peculiar one at eighteen thousand years ago. And this has been concluded by argon dating but like we assumed this complex system is very difficult to gain answers conclusive enough to be listed within acceptable scientific literature. Now, there’s an amazingly unique set of circumstances regarding the composition of the terrain above the present day magma chamber of Campi Flegrei and it is actually actively working to restrict an eruption from occurring. Take for example this scientific abstract by the London Geological Society that was published in 2006 after fears of an imminent eruption by Campi Flegrei that were rising steadily past the stage of alarming to the stage of oh no, it’s going to blow, as the seismicity in the region increased to abnormal amounts. “In the last four decades. Campi Flegrei’s caldera has been the world’s most active caldera characterized by intense unrest episodes involving huge ground deformation and seismicity, but at the time of writing has not culminated in an eruption. The results show for the first time in a volcano that a very peculiar mechanism is generating episodes of unrest involving mainly activation of the geothermal system from deeper magma reservoirs The character and evolution of unrest episodes is strongly controlled by structural features like the ring fault system at the borders of the caldera collapse.” Thirteen years after this abstract was written the ground has still kept in this beast that is working so hard to be freed from its earthen shackles. Any other volcano on earth would have erupted by now from the hundreds of earthquakes that have occurred at this site So what makes this complex different? Well Campi Flegrei actually created its own prison. That may sound weird, but I’m not joking! if you remember in our last episode we mentioned Pozzolana was the characteristic type of rock that was released and during the eruptions of the third Phlegraean Period. This was used by the Roman Empire who mined it directly from Pozzuoli. Roman concrete is infamous for being stronger and more durable than modern day concrete and it was made from Pozzolana. The Romans figured out if they added lime to pozzolana, the resulting mixture formed a ridiculously durable type of cement that was used to construct buildings, roads, the Roman Colosseum, the Pantheon, and even the construction of several harbors throughout many different countries within the Mediterranean region. The Romans can’t take credit for this anymore though, Campi Flegrei was doing this thousands of years before the empire even formed! Deep within the caldera of campi Flegrei, rocks that contain lime which had become liquefied under the magma chambers severe heat actively reacted with the Pozzolana sitting above the magma chamber, which was released during the third Phlegraean period. that saw a tremendous amounts of Pozzolana being spewed upon the surface of the Earth, leading to a vast accumulation occurring above the magma chamber itself and all around it in a nearby landscape. This is quite amazing Campi Flegrei has literally cemented its own magma chamber forming a powerful concrete prison that has become an immensely powerful cap rock, able to withstand much larger earthquakes and deformations in comparison to the typical rock makeup found around any other volcano on earth. This could explain why there hasn’t been a large eruption since the Pozzolana began to be released during the third Phlegraean Period. The downside to this of course is the amount of magma that is accumulating as a result of not being able to depressurize through frequent eruptions means the next major eruption could actually surpass the eruptive size witnessed in all previous eruptions known to man and this is another reason why in the following scenario I wanted to do an analysis of Campi Flegrei erupting at a volcanic explosivity index of 8 So this answers why it hasn’t yet erupted even with the ever increasing frequency and power of earthquakes in the past few decades, this also may be why Mount Vesuvius has erupted at levels that have been increasingly dangerous and devastating, with the two sharing a common magma chamber, the eruptive phases could be following the path of least resistance. So without further ado, let’s continue our journey from 1538 to the simulation of a modern day Campi Flegrei eruption. After this eruption I’m going to finally answer why Campi Flegrei is so powerful and erupts in a time span so frequent, especially compared to other super volcanoes. Two Thousand And Nine. The solfatara’s roar as the eruption draws near. A Solfatara is a vent that emits sulfur. It is also frequently referred to as fumaroles The solfatara di pozzuoli is the most famous vent, It actually erupted in eleven ninety eight A.D., which I didn’t cover in the previous episode due to the fact it was a measly volcanic explosivity index of one and I wanted to sum up both past and modern day Solfatara Di Pozzuoli in the same episode as it was a very minor phreatic eruption with very little noteworthy information on the topic. This solfatara formed four thousand years ago during the third phlegraean period and it’s vapors have been used for medicinal purposes since Roman times The name comes from the Latin “Sulfa Terra” which means land of sulfur or sulfur earth. Who would have thought smelling rotten eggs could be construed as medicinal. The Pisciarelli is another solfatara that was once considered insignificant. In two thousand and nine Pisciarelli began attracting attention. Its activity suddenly drastically increased. It was a hint that something very bad and very dangerous was occurring below the ground. The land within campi Flegrei’s caldera had been rising for nearly a decade and in two thousand and twelve it began to rise at a more rapid pace. From January two thousand and twelve to June two thousand and thirteen, the ground rapidly uplifted about eleven centimeters or four inches with a peak rate of about three centimeters or one inch per month during two thousand and twelve. In two thousand and six, a paper in Nature Communication suggested a new dangerous phase may have been entered by Campi Flegrei. From nineteen fifty until the aforementioned date the ground had swollen by more than four meters. Scientists predict a caldera floor will lose its elasticity at between five and twelve point five meters of uplift during which the ground will be unable to withstand the exerted force which would lead to an eruption. In two thousand seventeen activity became so high that an eruption was feared. A magnitude four earthquake on the western edge of the caldera occurred, killing two people and injuring many more. people in Casamicciola, on the northern coast of the island of Ischia, which is south of the epicenter. In this same year another study was released by UCL and the Vesuvius Observatory that was published in Nature Communications and revealed an eruption might be closer than previously thought. Now is the time we will uncover the power of a super volcano as Campi Flegrei erupts at a volcanic explosivity index of eight. So let’s move into the simulation of events leading into its modern day eruption and what occurs following it. The eruption of Campi Flegrei The day shall turn to night and Europe, then the entire world will bear witness to Campi Flegrei’s power. In the months prior to the eruption earthquakes become ever frequent and increasingly more powerful than ever experienced in prior centuries. They occur without periods of rest with an ever increasing scale and frequency. Panic begins to generate as news reports and scientists predict the eruption of this volcanic complex is nearer than ever before. Others remain in a blissful state of ignorance and dismiss these claims having heard it so many times and they continue with their day to day lives, whilst the most cautious pack up their belongings and move their family as far away as they can travel. Most of these people will think they are safe but unfortunately many of these people will not have travelled far enough to escape the eruption The day before the eruption, hundreds of earthquakes are generated. Hiding from the naked eye beneath the ground, The magma is breaking apart the pozzolana that has kept it in for so long and it rips the very earth above it as it surges upwards towards the surface. As nightfall approaches the people and animals attempt to sleep while the earth shakes below them. Anxiety is at its highest as the locals are used to earthquakes, but this phenomenon is something completely different to what normally occurs, and many of these people think maybe the reports of an imminent eruption were right. That becomes a statement that echoes in the minds of thousands of people during their final night on this earth. In the early morning an earthquake of a tremendous scale shakes the earth violently. Buildings crumble from the power exerted. People attempt to flee outside for safety. Suddenly a flash of lights so bright it blinds anyone who witnesses it occurs, accompanying these flash is the sound so loud it bursts ear drums immediately. This is all that the people and animals within the epicenter will hear and see before they are immediately vaporized. This happens at a speed so fast that recognition of what is taking place cannot be mustered before life is literally snuffed out. The ground explodes at a force never seen or even Imagined by a human. As the contents of the magma chamber blow out onto the surface, the very ground many people once called home collapses upon itself. In the Bay of Naples gigantic tsunamis are generated both from the eruptive power and subsequent collapse of the caldera. The reaction of the enormous amount of magma that has now made contact with water within the bay produces immensely powerful phreatomagmatic reactions that further expand the power of the eruption. Pyroclastic flows travel in all directions smothering and destroying everything in its path. Outside of the newly formed caldera a gigantic column of ash surges high into the sky reaching well over eighty kilometers in height or more than fifty miles. Lava bombs which are a mass of molten rock are sent in all directions, with some of them being as large as a car and others even larger. The sound of the eruption begins its journey around the world. The sound waves will circulate the entire globe multiple times over. People further than five hundred kilometers or three hundred and ten miles away have their eardrums ruptured, and the sound of the eruption is heard by people as far away as China or in the opposite direction as far as New York, possibly even further. Scorching ash burns anything it makes contact with as it falls back down upon the earth, and a massive cloud of ash begins a long journey to share the destruction with the entire globe. The sun on this day never rises in Italy, and the surrounding countries soon suffer that same fate. This phenomenon will continue for a good while. Italy is no longer recognizable, the entire surrounding landscape is completely sterilized, transformed and covered with ash, pyroclastic flows and debris fall out. Rome is completely wiped off the map and the Colosseum is no more. The Pozzolana used to create it has been returned to its maker. Gigantic tsunamis destroy all surrounding lands Sardinia, Corsica, And Italy’s northern coast become submerged by water. Malta and the Balearic Islands soon join the destruction. The coastlines of France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya, all get hit by towering waves that swallow up as much land as it can. To a lesser extent though still by a destructive amount Greece, Albania, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, get hit by secondary waves produced after the main wave bounced off Sardinia, Tunisia, and Sicily. First Italy, then the world. The column of ash created by Campi Flegrei can be seen by countries all around the Mediterranean. A feeling of dread overcomes those that witness it rise into the sky. A super volcano is so powerful It bends the rules and conventions. It doesn’t need to follow the planetary winds It creates its own on account of how powerful the eruption is. The ash spreads out in a circular motion to all nearby territories, until it loses enough power to then to finally become directed by planetary winds. The air becomes smothered by the initial ash cloud before it finally loses enough power to begin to follow the direction of the wind and spread to the rest of the earth. Over five thousand cubic kilometers worth of debris is released from this eruption, which is enough to bury the entirety of Italy a few times over. As the erupted force that was generated weakens, it begins to follow a northeasterly direction being carried by the planetary winds. From the island of Crete all the way to Germany the noxious Sun smothering cloud of death begins its worldwide journey. And we’re going to follow along with it as it spreads further and further east, following a path that is now predictable as it is carried by the consistent planetary winds. Stage one The ash cloud journeys over to Russia smothering all lands It comes across as it makes its journey towards it. It proceeds to darken the entire gigantic territory of Russia, after which its journey takes it over the North Pacific and Bering Sea. Portions of the now scattering thick ash cloud get caught in a north easterly trade winds, this splits the thick cloud apart sending it in two directions. The first directs the large part of the thick noxious cloud over the Bering Sea and Northern most part of the Pacific Ocean, where it would then cross over into Alaska Canada and almost all of the United States except the most southern states, as well as Greenland and Iceland. It would then continue over the North Atlantic covering the remainder of Europe from the top most point down to Campi Flegrei’s original eruption epicenter. Stage 2. The second direction separated by the north easterly trade winds would direct a very large portion of this ash cloud towards Japan, then China, the Philippines, the northern point of Indonesia, and all of Malaysia and the surrounding countries. Upon hitting India the cloud would scatter in yet another two directions. The first portion would continue its journey along its intended path and would overcome the Middle East and the northern portion of Africa, Where it would then travel over the Mid Atlantic before shrouding that seemingly free southern part of the United States, as well as all of Mexico, The Caribbean, and the northern tip of South America. Stage 3 The other direction that was split when floating over India would be forcibly directed south of it over the Indian Ocean before it got caught up in the south easterly trade winds, which would then direct this noxious cloud over towards the southern portion of Africa from the middle of it all the way to the southern tip of it, after which it will travel over the southern Atlantic Ocean towards the interior of South America where it would then split yet again. Stage Four. The first portion would continue over the Southern Pacific Ocean towards New Zealand, Australia, And the remaining territories of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and all surrounding islands. The other direction that would be taken is directed south towards Antarctica, which would eventually shroud Tasmania all the way through to the remaining southern tip of South America. The world is now completely shrouded by the toxic blanket of Campi Flegrei’s gigantic eruption and the Sun loses its power, as the earth begins to cool. One Day after the eruption of Campi Flegrei The Isolation Begins Immediately the repercussions of this ash cloud become very evident as it spreads across Europe then the world. Humans for at least three generations have faced a world that has shrunk noticeably in the way we perceive the distance of countries and cultures since the invention of the plane, car, and even more so since the internet made its way onto the scene. One by one, countries consumed by the impending ash cloud come to a stall. Air travel is no longer a possibility in these locations due to the abrasion suffered by forward facing surfaces upon contact with volcanic ash among many other reasons. This means the windshield, leading edges of the wings, and ash accumulation within surface openings, including the engine of the aircraft, causes damage to the compressor fan blades, eroding the sharp blades in the process and reducing their efficiency. Upon entering the aircraft’s combustion chamber the ash changes form by melting and becoming like molten glass. Solidification on turbine blades follows. This blocks airflow and causes the engine to stall causing a complete loss of engine thrust. Planes literally begin to drop out of the air. An unintended chaotic contact with the ground comes next. The detection of ash clouds is near impossible aboard aircraft as there is no onboard instrument to detect them. On the ground in airport,s visibility is reduced significantly making landing near impossible. Not only that, the accumulation of ash causes incredibly slippery runways and taxiways. The ash causes further damage to communication and electrical systems at airports as well as interrupting ground services and damaging buildings and parked aircraft. Basically anything electronic the ash makes contact with has a good chance of failing. Fast trade by air travel has suddenly become a thing of the past. Emergencies must be dealt with fewer hands than has been seen in over a century since trade by modern vehicles became a reality. The world suddenly seems so much larger Two Days after the Eruption Fresh air, Oh how I miss you. It might not come as a surprise to many that breathing in volcanic ash is pretty bad for you. In fact, it’s very, very bad. Some people might think it would be no different from breathing in smoke from a large fire, but it is markedly different. The particles in volcanic ash are very hard and have jagged edges. This not only damages the eyes and nose of people and animals who breathe it in, as well as irritating the lungs, but causes severe problems with breathing as well as physical tears inside the tissues of lungs. Don’t forget after all volcanic ash can essentially be likened to a non smoldering version of solidified lava on a tiny scale. It’s basically like tiny shards of frozen magma. It’s composed of silica compounds, the same as the sand on your favorite beach is. It is created at such a rapid pace during an eruption that it actually becomes glass, with each individual fragment consistent at a length that is at a maximum no longer than two millimeters across, with the majority of it being so tiny it is directly inhaled and shuttled internally to organs you probably don’t want tiny shards of glass to be in. Super volcanic eruptions are incredibly high in silica, in fact the level of silica reaches at least 75% in the overall composition within the magma versus the normal 25 to 50 percent which makes the magma so stiff it acts like toothpaste and this directly influences how destructive eruptions are, due to increasing magma viscosity. The ash is lacerating the insides of your capillaries, Bronchioles, and alveoli. As you can probably imagine the process of this isn’t exactly pain free. if you were lucky enough to survive in the long term, you could suffer from silicosis, which results from permanent scarring to your lung. But to be a bit graphic, the corneas on your eyes will also get worn down and your eyes will start to bleed if exposed to the ash for a prolonged enough time for the many corrosive substances to do their damage, and well, If you’re near Campi Flegrei, or in a place close to the initial ash cloud spread with no way of getting indoors, death is likely to occur through just plain old suffocation. If the barrage of silica isn’t enough to get you scared, then the hydrogen fluoride is enough to get you really pushing up daisies. Well that is if those daisies could survive the impending volcanic assault, which they can’t and won’t, so they’ll join you in your inevitable fate. Hydrogen fluoride is rapidly absorbed into the nose and into the upper respiratory tract. Severe eye irritation, mucous membrane damage, ulcers, burning of the skin, nose, throat, and lungs, occurs at just a tiny amount of exposure. For example, it takes only five parts per million for a decline in lung function at rest and increased airway resistance, at six parts per million irritation of the eyes, nose and throat occur, and at ten parts per million the irritation worsens to almost unbearable levels. Between ten to fifteen parts per million the threshold of toxicity for prolonged exposure occurs, and at twenty parts per million and over, paralysis and death occurs after extended exposure. Unfortunately at one hundred and fifty parts per million a healthy individual can expect to survive for only a few minutes before he or she succumbs to a very painful and suffocating fate, and the amount released by a super volcano would far exceed this in certain places, especially those near the eruption. And you thought the silica was bad, you’ve got these two horrific compounds to deal with, as well as the rest of the toxic cocktail released from Campi Flegrei’s eruption. Three Days after the Eruption Humanity Grinds to a Halt The eruption of Campi Flegrei has already caused massive disruptions in many various ways that has in turn, caused massive complications to humanity. Fatalities have been suffered, a toll of which has risen to a point that is physically uncountable. Traversing the land itself is a task arduous enough to now be thought of as near impossible. Disruption over roads, railways, ports and shipping yards has taken a toll already after only three days. Staying outside whilst the toxic plume of demise that is seeking to extinguish all life is impossible without proper equipment, a gas mask, safety goggles and full body protection from head to toe becomes a necessity to survive outdoors. As ash piles accumulate increasingly on houses and large buildings, these structures collapse under the incredible weight as those seeking reprieve from the toxic ash cloud within these structures succumb to fatal fate. Visibility is reduced within only a foot or two in front of you. Driving is not only extremely difficult but is also incredibly dangerous. Cars that travel more than fifty kilometers per hour or thirty one miles per hour stir up the settled ash on the ground making these toxic particles airborne once more. The accumulation of ash creates a dangerous decrease of traction, only exacerbated during wet conditions. Road markings and the road itself is completely covered, and suddenly the thought of whether or not you are actually even driving on a road anymore becomes a question pondered frequently. But this won’t be a problem for long because after a few more days cars stop working altogether. The air and oil filters become completely blocked and replacement is required after only a short time of travel henceforth. Four Days After The Eruption Agriculture becomes a distant memory. Volcanic regions on earth are known for producing some of the best soil to grow crops and plants in, but that’s after many, many years past, when the soil is allowed to drain of any toxicity and to achieve an equilibrium of pH and mineral content that is contaminant free. However, unfortunately, this rule doesn’t apply during active volcanic eruptions or honestly we would be completely fine to survive any eruption that doesn’t directly affect us during the initial stages. Unfortunately agriculture is destined to suffer a bad fate following Campi Flegrei’s major eruption. Ash withers and kills all crops within a week or two through various mechanisms. The first direct mechanism is the fact that volcanic ash contains chemicals toxic to plants, some of which are actually essential for their life in very minuscule amounts such as sulfur, but in high amounts burn and kill the plant very quickly. You can see this first hand if you spray a high amount of fertilizer on a plant, especially if you do so undiluted. It scorches them to death very quickly. The worst killer by far however would be the deadly levels of fluorine found in volcanic ash, which not only kill all plants, animals, bugs, and even microbial life found under the soil which work in unison with plants in a shared partnership of mutual benefits, but also contaminates the very soil itself. And it only gets worse. Thick ash falls that exceed fifteen centimeters or six inches or more, buries the pastures and the soil beneath it. This is how microbial death occurs due to oxygen deprivation as well as any plant alive that is now covered by it, which also meets a rapid end by burial. Trees accumulate ash on branches which break under the weight. Orchids meet a slower fate in comparison to crops such as corn, soy, rice, to name a few. But the high levels of fluorine, sulfur, silica, as well as the other chemicals and minerals that in moderate amounts are toxic, reach a level far beyond moderate, and upon contacting plant life enters it by two means. It gets taken up by the root system of trees and plants leading to an inevitable death, but even more deadly than this process is the act of foliar absorption. This is a major absorption pathway plants use and through it they’re going to absorb these poisons that in the end leads to a much quicker fatality by the organism, than it would have only been taken up by the root system, which is a process that is much slower. It absorbs far more of the aforementioned toxic compounds in a quicker time span then through the roots. Foliar absorption is when the leaves of a plant take in nutrients. The leaves of a plant are much like the skin human beings have, it has the ability to absorb many different compounds. Fungi such as mushrooms, which rely on oxygen in the same manner humans rely on it cease growing as their mycellial networks die from oxygen starvation. If the toxic slurry produced by the ash cloud doesn’t kill the most resilient trees, unfortunately the ability of ash to trap water would eventually water log the roots leading to root rot. If by the slimmest of chances a plant manages to survive the aforementioned amount of numerous deadly assaults cast upon it, the acid rain that falls steadily not only burns the plant but also affects the pH level of the soil, raising the acidity of it to unbearable levels and killing off the remainder of seemingly resilient life, that was scarce in number to begin with weeks after the eruption. Alongside the deadly pH swing is the reduction in the amount of phosphate and other minerals in the soil increasing the difficulty for growth and survival. Areas of the globe will have a devastating loss of life in all categories. Every part of the globe will be affected, but some may be lucky in the level of dispersal and fallout, especially if yearly rain is heavy and consistent such as what is experienced in tropical regions of the planet. Which might have some hope in survival, due to the eventual washing out of ash and the acidic minerals and elements left over by it. If there was a tremendously consistent amount of rain falling it is going to wash these out much quicker. Five days after the Eruption The food chain loses its links. With the contamination of the ground, livestock decline by the hundreds of thousands to millions very quickly. Grazing animals get gastrointestinal blockages from consuming ash covered grass leading to a quick expiration. As little as one millimeter of ash covered grass can kill grazing animals. If there are no other sources of feed, starvation is also a factor. With the decline and death of grain based agriculture, feed will quickly become scarce It will rise dramatically in price too. Wildlife also suffers. They fall prey to a horrible fate from the consumption of contaminated food and water sources. This includes carnivore,s that upon preying on the weak and grazing herbivores that are unable to flee or fight due to their weakened state, become poisoned from the contaminated food source. Obviously this also means humans are unable to consume poisoned livestock. This is because the toxic fluorine accumulates primarily in the skeletal tissues of terrestrial animals. This leeches into edible tissues and even the milk of mammalian fauna. This means no more cow’s milk, and no more cheese. Uncontaminated food becomes a near impossible task to obtain, and becomes ever fleeting as time passes. The food chain becomes horribly disrupted and ceases to be a chain. Six Days after the Eruption Traversing the sea during a volcanic apocalypse. Trucks, cars, planes, trains, and every other manner of transportation for essential goods, that are now more than ever required by the European countries that were first hit by the subsequent effects of Campi Flegrei’s eruption, become a distant memory for many countries. Hope is beyond fleeting. Even if there were unaffected countries that weren’t doing so bad and able to trade, as soon as they enter territories that are overcome by Campi Flegrei’s ash cloud, they will be unable to journey further as their equipment and mode of transportation fails. Where there is a gist of hope however at this stage, lies solely within freight ships that attempt perilous journeys, making their way to the affected countries in an attempt to deliver vital goods. Food, medicine, fresh water, and much more is required by so many nations. The supply is scarce as more and more countries and entire territories become freshly enveloped by the spreading ash cloud. Fear is at an all-time high all over the world. Unfortunately, the freight ships never make it. Ash accumulates and blocks air and oil filters, it abrades moving parts within the engine. Vesiculated Ash, which is pumice and scoria, float on the surface of the ocean waves as the ship gets closer and closer to Europe. These are light volcanic rocks formed by the quick solidification of glassy lava and they present another horrific danger. They clog the water intakes of ships. The machinery that it relies on, then begins to overheat until irreparable damage and failure occurs. Navigation becomes an almost impossible task because of the thick smog, and the people aboard rely on their instruments to get to their destination. The ship comes to a halt, and without sails to navigate like vessels in ancient times, They are unable to continue moving to their destination. So they now sit, bobbing up and down in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, rocking from side to side. The people on board praying to find salvation. Perhaps by other humans or by floating to an area of dry land, which in the end won’t offer much safety. The much needed supplies go to waste as it never accomplishes its goal. Acid rain falls night and day. Navigation is impossible, and unless land is within the foot of your eyes the hope of seeing it will never happen. The acid rain eventually eats through the hull of the ship, alongside every other surface exposed to it. Water begins to enter and within twenty four hours, it, and its passengers, become one with the bottom of the ocean. No help is coming. Seven days after the Eruption Things seem to be getting a bit fishy Many humans forced to undergo the above events would probably begin to turn their attention towards seafood, and for a good reason. Surely this would be a better source of food with a lesser chance of contamination, right? And even if contamination was present, surely the levels of it would be below fatal. Well, it depends. The fish that live within inland water sources are totally unfit for consumption as their water sources become poisoned, and those in the ocean though affected to a lesser degree, become a deadly game of, will I live or die when I eat this fish. Due to the fact that going out some distance into the ocean to fish with a boat is now an impossible task as previously mentioned, and even if you had a ship with sails, if you are unlucky enough to have acid rain falling while you’re in the middle of the ocean, it’s going to eat through them immediately. I mean acid rain eats through stone, metal, paint, it even eats through marble statues, and renders their once elegantly carved features unrecognizable. This means fish very close to the shores would be the only option, and right near the shore is where the highest level of oceanic contamination would occur through the many rivers and drains containing contaminated water flowing out into the ocean, causing widespread contamination at the shorelines. However, due to the increasing desperation of circumstances, that may be a game many of us would be willing to play. I’m yet to mention the major impact that oceans will succumb to and I will cover that very soon. It deserves a category of its own. Unfortunately, it’s not only food that gets contaminated, something far, far more important to all life on the planet also succumbs to its share of deadly contamination. Eight days after the Eruption Fresh Water becomes Death Water All reservoirs, rivers, lakes, creeks, and any other source of potentially fresh, potable water quickly becomes contaminated. Both from direct contact with ash fall and the fact that with each and every rain fall, water that contacts contaminated soil gets washed downstream, resulting in it eventually flowing into a body of water at some stage of its journey to the lowest ground. Whether that be a creek, lake, or large river. But it’s not only the above ground water that faces a problem, It’s also the groundwater itself that humans utilize, which is vital in many places as the only source of water, such as many islands and any desert that has an oasis, that the people who live there rely on to live. These sources of once potable water become rapidly overcome by toxic hydrogen fluoride. It also transforms much like the ground does from a stable pH, to a deadly and possibly fatal acidic beverage. Humans and animals begin to succumb to starvation and to their thirst, meeting a horribly fatal conclusion. The only way to drink fresh water in severely affected parts of the earth is through filtration, Which is beginning to become a scarce commodity and which becomes blocked in a very short time after use. Nine days after the Eruption The rain, it burns. Is there no cleansing to this hell fire? Hydrogen fluoride and hydrogen chloride are both compounds that become out gassed into the atmosphere, where they are then dissolved in water droplets. Once these two compounds are introduced to water vapor, they become hydrofluoric and hydrochloric acids, that eventually fall towards the Earth’s surface as acid rain. Hydrogen chloride is equally as harmful, it irritates mucous membranes of both the respiratory system and the eyes. A concentration of more than thirty five parts per million results in throat irritation and exposure to more than one hundred parts per million causes pulmonary edema and laryngeal spasms. It is also the direct factor to the aforementioned lowering of soil pH. Another lesser constituent of volcanic eruptions is bromine oxide, which breaks down the ozone when released into the stratosphere. It breaks it apart by taking a molecule of oxygen from it. This chemically converts ozone gas into oxygen. In two thousand and ten a relatively mild eruption in Iceland, which rated as a four on the volcanic explosivity index, resulted in the destruction of eight four percent of the surrounding ozone in only the first hour of the eruption with ninety percent destroyed in six hours preceding this. Now imagine that compared to a super volcanic eruption, with a volcanic explosivity index of eight. Ten days after the eruption Nothing works. Hope has faded. Telecommunication and broadcast networks become a thing of the past. Signal strength had slowly been waning due to damage, alongside the overloading of the network through user demand. Direct ash fall damages telecommunication equipment which require constant cooling via air conditioning units, which have since become blocked by ash fall until they are no longer able to function. Cable lines, aerials, and antennae dishes and towers collapse due to the accumulation and overwhelming weight of ash loading. Moist ash acts to accelerate corrosion of metal components in areas that have received rainfall. Computers lose functionality and usability but do not completely fail unless they are directly exposed to ash. Moist ash can cause an electrical short in desktop computers, But won’t effect laptops in the same manner. However all computers, both desktop and laptop, lose total functionality through the following scenario. The lights no longer operate. The volcanic ash has taken its toll on the electrical power supply systems at all levels of power generation, transformation, transmission, and distribution. First wet deposits of ash on high voltage insulators initiate a leakage current that inevitably leads to a short circuit current high enough to trip the circuit breaker. Ash induced flash over, which is the unintended electrical discharge around or over the surface of an insulating material burns and cracks the insulation to a state that is irreparable. This occurs on a grand scale. The volcanic ash then erodes and scours all exposed metallic apparatuses, affecting moving parts to the largest degree. Everything from water and wind turbines to the cooling fans that keep transformers and thermal power plants functioning ceases to operate. The physical weight of the ash itself causes line breakage and damages the steel towers and wooden poles that transmit the power across the grid Mankind is thrust centuries back in time and rely on a candle to offer a meager amount of light to extinguish yet a tiny amount of the never ending darkness. Water no longer travels through the pipes that once supplied the first affected countries and soon the rest of the severely affected countries around the world will follow. Water stations such as large water treatment plants become subject to interference due to airborne ash affecting the operation of wellhead pumps. The electrical outages also contribute by disrupting the many electrically powered pumps. If there are backup generators, they run on a very scarce time limit before they consume their reserves. Ash further affects treatment plants by blocking intake structures, causing severe damage to pump and impalas, as well as overloading to pump motors. To top things off, waterborne diseases become increasingly frequent as the suspended particles from the ash that have fallen into the water provide an excellent substrate for microorganisms, which flourish and reproduce at an alarmingly increased rate. This process can actually serve to protect them from disinfection treatment. On small water treatment plants ash quickly clogs intake structures, damages pumps, and blocks pipes. Disinfection becomes close to impossible, as does upkeep and repair. They are left to decay in time as humans become a sight no longer seen at these places. Eleven Days after the Eruption Disease outbreak reaches a pandemic Emergency services cease. Wastewater treatment facilities and wastewater networks would sustain similar damage to what causes the aforementioned water supply networks to begin to fail. Ash enters the sewage system and backs it up, causing double the impact on countries which rely on systems with a combined storm water and sewage lines. ash laden sewage entering the treatment plant finally brings down the mechanical pre-screening equipment. It then penetrates further into the system before settling and reducing the capacity of biological reactors, as well as increasing the volume of sludge, and even changing its composition. It becomes a bacterial haven and they begin to multiply at alarming rates. Emergency services are no longer available. Everyone is left to their own fate now, including them. Phones don’t work, vehicles don’t drive, hospitals no longer operate after power ceases to become available. Medicine is in very scarce supply as more and more people get sick from contaminated water. The backup of sewage that contains harmful bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses, causing numerous ailments ranging from infections of the lungs, intestines, and gastroenteritis, which spreads amongst humans at an alarming rate as e coli, typhoid fever, salmonella, and cholera joined the assault on humanity. Whenever it rains heavily, sewage overflows onto the streets and near former treatment plants and even flows into water reserves, that are contaminated already from the volcanic ash, which like previously mentioned, causes these organisms to flourish even more. Many of these water sources, though contaminated, are still being used by desperate people suffering from severe thirst. This only acts to further proliferate the spread of these types of harmful organisms. Twelve days after the Eruption Desperation Spreads. Chaos is in full swing and a complete breakdown of society occurs in the heavily hit countries. Citizens arm themselves and take to the streets, robbing, and looting anything of conceivable value. Chaos becomes a new way of life, and participation in horrible, unfathomable things that have now become a common reality occur. First world countries become reduced to primitive tribal conflict, as some survivors form gangs and fight for the remaining scraps of food and water, while others, Heavily armed and knowledgeable, take what they can alone, in pairs, or in small groups. They are all doing whatever it takes to survive. Fires spread throughout the cities only barely illuminating the seemingly eternal darkness. The smoke from it thickens the already substantial dark smog that has trapped people within its choking grasp since the eruption occurred. People go from house to house taking what they need, using violence to get their way. The weak fall victim to the strong and the fabric of society has been undone. Humanity will never again be the same if it lives to see it through this seemingly never ending apocalypse Seventeen Days After The Eruption The Nuclear Contribution Seven days after the power grid ceased nuclear power plants that have now been abandoned while still in operation begin to explode in a fashion similar to the melt down of Chernobyl from overheating reactor cores. Normally automated protocols would shut down the reactor completely and autonomously, but this is dependent on the mainline and backup power being present. There are two ways this situation could proceed. Hopefully humans have the foresight to cool reactor cores down immediately following Campi Flegrei’s eruption and work to prevent a subsequent nuclear contamination adding yet another unbearable element to this already overwhelming disaster. However, since the power grid failed ten days after the eruption, whether or not humans would still be present at these facilities is questionable and for those countries that thought they could withstand what was coming or who substantially rely on nuclear power, this may not be an option in the mind of the person who decides the outcome to this critical situation. By the time he or she realizes that they were wrong and that their reactors needed to be shut down immediately, physically getting to the nuclear power plants may already be in a possible task. Many European countries rely on nuclear power, and if these plants exploded the level of cataclysmic destruction jumps up to unbelievable levels as radiation joins the fray and spreads to unfathomable distances across the globe. Chernobyl spread all across Europe and even reached America. The Aftermath The Weeks and Months following the Campi Flegrei Eruption In the weeks and months since the eruption of Campi Flegrei, Famines, disease outbreaks, violence from a breakdown of society, and many more factors have led to the end of an uncountable amount of life. Hundreds of millions to billions met their end from Campi Flegrei. To those still alive sickness is further proliferated from the decaying remnants of those that have succumbed to their fate, that are now rotting in the very same place where they drew their last staggered breath. The cold is unbearable The challenges produced by campi Flegrei’s eruption seem to never end and continue to echo into months and even years following the dreadful event. The notorious volcanic winter is now in full swing as the injected sulfur gases within the stratosphere undergo a series of reactions to create sulfuric acid, which nucleates and forms aerosols that cool the surface of the earth by reflecting the much needed solar radiation, as well as absorbing terrestrial radiation, which in unison lower the climate by a number of degrees below the norm. This produces catastrophic results especially in the temperate climates around the earth. In Europe any attempt within the next few years to grow and sustain a harvest of crops would be near impossible as crop failure is far more likely to occur as below normal temperatures in unison with unpredictable weather hamper any form of establishing a potential comeback through agriculture. With no heating, hypothermia is a very real threat. The environment rapidly changes resembling more of an ice age. Continental glaciations occur, further reducing plant, animal, and human life, even more than what has already occurred. Life becomes increasingly difficult. This volcanic winter will last at the very least over a decade and the weather will take many more years, perhaps even decades beyond that to fully stabilize. The Final Impact. Finally we reached the final effect of Campi Flegrei’s wrath. The disrupted climate through the injection of sulfur has another effect other than the dreaded volcanic winter. Huge volcanoes directly reduced the mean sea temperature, as well as obviously the land temperature. This lasts for many years and could last for multiple decades beyond the eruption. In part two of the Campi Flegrei Series, we mentioned and explained the process of thermal expansion and contraction. This process affects everything, including the sea water itself and the variability of its level. Thus with decreased heat content the result on the global sea level actually reduces it below the normal point. But it happens in a strange order. Firstly the sea level actually increases as a direct response to major Volcanic eruptions and the subsequent climatic effects that occur due to it. This is because after a volcanic eruption the subsequent blocking of solar radiation from entering, and the lowering of exiting terrestrial radiation, sees the rate of evaporation of the ocean reducing by a significant amount. Thus the rains that follow fill up water levels raising them in height until the process of evaporation begins to reach a new equilibrium, more on par with the shift in temperature. After one or two years, river discharge becomes less, due to the reduced precipitation and reduction of sea ice melting. The sea levels drop as a result. The Positives. Yes, there are some positives in an otherwise dark situation. The first is the sunsets look freaking amazing due to the sulfur aerosols that were released. But on a more relevant note, humanity would most likely survive. Less affected areas may be able to pull themselves through this situation. But those who are self sufficient and those who are lucky enough to live in tropical regions would likely make it through this horrific situation if they are dynamic enough. Modern humans have lost the survival instinct that our ancestors relied on, so hopefully they’ll be able to get this back quickly because they’re going to need it. Alongside this, the drop in temperature in tropical regions wouldn’t be quite as significant and devastating as what will be suffered by Europe and any temperate climate including southern Australia. And it’s likely that even with the decrease in solar radiation some food sources can still be grown and utilized effectively, as there are many plants that can be grown with low light, lettuce being an example among many. Humans may also survive the climatic effects felt in temperate regions. After all humans have proven themselves time and time again to be able to survive unimaginable difficulty. We are a very resilient creature, and with the amount of humans scattered in every part of the world, it is unlikely that this event will be the nail in humanity’s coffin. Unless we get really unlucky and some kind of massive meteorite decides to join the destruction and slam into the earth, Then we’d be toast. So with that, let’s get on to the big question. Why is Campi Flegrei so damn powerful? Even an eruption at a scale seen during the first phlegraean period would be enough to render most of Europe and many other surrounding and distant territories around the world plunged into a state of complete chaos and would follow the same series of events we just covered. Alongside this, the temperature around the entire globe will be affected. This volcanic complex erupts so powerfully, at a rate unheard of. So what’s causing this? The answer? The collision of three tectonic plates. In this situation we have two major and one micro plate colliding. The first major plate is the Eurasian Plate which is moving in a southeasterly direction. The second is the African plate, which is slamming into the Eurasian Plate as it forcefully pushes north. Now caught in between these two gigantic plates, is the Adriatic micro plate, also known as the Apulian micro plate. Between these three plates is the weakness within the earth where magma is able to rise both from the planets core, and from the friction and rock melting heat produced by the collision and subduction of the nearby Tectonic plates, as well as many fractures and places of instability along these points causing an even greater weak point. This weakness not only allows greater than usual magma to rise, but generates more magma than what would otherwise occur through the strange directions attempting to be achieved, and the resulting collision and subduction as a result of this. Thus we have the reason for the creation and existence of the Campanian volcanic arc, which begins around Rome with a few dormant volcanoes, and continues to Mount Etna in Sicily and even further down all the way to the Campi Flegrei Mar Sicilia, which is a field of submarine volcanoes located southwest of Sicily. All of these derive their power from the same place within the earth. The only thing separating them is the differing degrees of weakness within this area of major collision. So this is what leads to the terrible reputation that is held by many Italian volcanoes. Etna in Sicily is considered the second most active volcano on the planet only being beaten by Hawaii’s volcanoes. Vesuvius is probably one of the most notorious and well-known city destroying volcanoes, And Campi Flegrei is the terrifying beast that hides near it, in a depression within the ground created from eruptions so destructive the exact amount of debris released and the amount of eruptions that have occurred might never be conclusively known. And so, with that, we reach the end of our long journey into Campi Flegrei’s history, legacy, and possible future outcome. When Campi Flegrei will finally break through its concrete prison isn’t known. it could be tomorrow, next week, or next year. One thing is certain. When it does ascend, Europe won’t be the same place, ever again. Thank you for watching. I’ll see you all in our next video.