Large swathes of the Greek island of Santorini
are covered in pumice from an enormous volcanic explosion thousands of years ago, a major catastrophe of the ancient world. Lately, the volcanic archipelago has seen some more geological rumblings, starting with a series of small earthquakes a couple years ago that marked the first seismic activity seen on the island in more than a quarter of a century. It now appears those quakes brought along some company, in the form of an underground balloon of magma that may be as large as 20 million cubic meters --
so huge, it has raised the surface of the islands as much as 14 centimeters
in some areas. Researchers with the University of Bristol published their findings -- like the fact that the idyllic coastline in the photo above may well be a little bit higher now -- this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.