Time speeds up in Sicily: an Etna enigma? 11 July 2011Posted by admin in Etna, Italy.
Sicily’s Mount Etna has been having a lively time of it over the past few days: there will be a more detailed report here soon. For the moment, here’s a bizarre thing. Did the most recent eruption on 9 July affect electronic clocks across Sicily, setting them fifteen minutes fast? The UK’s Daily Mail ‘newspaper’ seems to think so. However, the Italian press was reporting on this strange Sicilian phenomenon more than a month ago (as the Mail‘s reporter would have found out, had they bothered to check). Here’s an Italian television news report from 9 June 2011, for example. The Corriere della Sera pointed out on 11 June that the alleged misbehaving clocks have been reported across the island, not just around Etna, suggesting that the volcano’s electromagnetic woo waves, or whatever, are not to blame.
UPDATE. Dr Boris Behncke of the INGV e-mails to say: ‘As for the clocks, none of the clocks that we have at home – 15 km from Etna’s summit – have shown any anomalous behavior’. Boris goes on to suggest that ‘this is one of those bulls**t things put into circulation on the internet’ to keep things ‘a bit metaphysical’.
Tutti avanti di 20 minuti al giorno Il mistero degli orologi siciliani – Corriere della Sera, 11 June 2011
Clocks in Sicily inexplicably run ahead – RIA Novosti, 11 June 2011
Mount Etna eruption closes airports and ‘knocks clocks 15 minutes fast’ – Daily Mail, 10 July 2011 (nice pictures at least)
The case of the volcano that set time 15 minutes fast – The Atlantic Wire, 10 July 2011