On Saturday, something strange came up at Rome's Fiumicino airport. No, we're not talking about Superman, but instead what appears to be a fumarole, an opening in the ground that produces steam and gases. The sight and smell of the 6-foot wide steaming vent, less than a thousand feet from the end of a runway, caught the attention of passersby concerned by its possible danger.
Seismologist Alberto Basili told The Telegraph that the crater may have been caused by volcanic activity, which he said is common in Italy. Dr. Erik Klemetti, assistant professor of Geosciences at Denison University, told LiveScience that since there are a lot of hot springs in the area, "it would not be surprising that new vents could open." The reason for the mysterious hole has not yet been confirmed, and VolcanoDiscovery noted that geologists and engineers are currently investigating any possible manmade causes, such as a broken pipe.
This little guy does not pose quite as much of a threat as Mount Vesuvius, and has not affected the airport's schedule.