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A volcano you can walk on

Greece island Nisyros from air

In the great war between gods and giants, one of the casualties was the fiery Titan Polyvotis, who so irked Poseidon that the sea god ripped off a chunk of Kos and hurled it on top of him as he tried to swim away.

This became the island of Nísyros, and the miserable Polyvotis, pinned underneath, sighs and fumes, unable to escape. The myth is geologically sound. Nísyros, the ‘Polo mint island’ – round and green outside, white inside with a hole in the middle—was indeed once part of Kos, and one of the still smouldering craters of its volcano is named after the smouldering giant.

Originally a great Bali Hai mountain in the sea, Polyvotis made his most famous attempt to break out in a massive eruption at some distant prehistoric date, imploding in the middle to form the central Lákki plain, a wasted moonscape of slag heaps, bubbling mud pits, fumeroles, and yellow sulphurous rocks.

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Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Alexandros Diamantidis at en.wikipedia, Holger, Karelj, Marielle Plomp, samchills, thomas molck, Tomisti