Friday Volcanic Riddles

Stunningly beautiful picture by Martin Rietze.

Stunningly beautiful picture by Martin Rietze.

Here in Volcanocafé we try to be as close to scientific as possible, and we always try to educate those who believe in doomsday. Up untill now we have called them 2012ers, but to be honest that is getting rather antiquated, and calling them tin-foilers is a bit insulting to the tin-foil.

In a shear stroke of pure Genius Henrik gave birth to the word Nibiruistic, and in turn comes Nibirism, Nibirist and so forth. Here is the comprehensible explanation to the word written by the man himself:

Nibiruistic (adjective), used to describe postulations, interpretations and opinions on natural phenomenae coloured by a wish for disasters on a Doomsday scale rather than based on scientific merit. The word is derived from Nibiru, the fictional planet invoked as the root cause for the disaster predicted by the Mayan calendar that would end the world on December 21st, 2012. Since the Mayan calendar was very ambiguous, it could be said to be the archetype for a Nibiruistic interpretation. Nibiruism (noun), a statement based on a wish for a disaster on a Doomsday scale rather than on scientific merit.


Today there are 5 Riddles to hopefully torment the brains with. 2 points if they are solved before I hand out clues, 1 point after clues.

1. To doggedly dog where no dog hath dogged before (on a pure reflex, who owned the dogs) – Pavlof (solved by Shérine, 1 point)

2. Double quinted MFTDTN (root form of the latin word behind quinted, first clue. The first half is a riddle that in itself is a clue to the name of the volcano that is hidden in the cipher. It should be possible to solve this one from both the clue, and by brute-forcin the cipher. Mike Ross solved the first part, at least almost, just go from 10 to the more volcanically obvious…) – Merapi (Henrik solved the cipher 1p, Mike Ross 1 bonus point. Talla 1p for figuring out that it was a Decade Volcano.)

3. Hm, well the riddle needed a sentence before it could start since the start starts with number two and not number three. I hope you understand, here starts the riddle: 2, 3, 5 , 7, 11, 13…, leader that once was prime of H2O (This volcano is named after a person, he had 3 titles, two are within this riddle. He rose to political prominance) – Churchill (solved by Talla, 1 point)

4. The smoking river bulge – Theistareykjarbunga (Alison 2p)

5. Far from towering edifice you will still find my name (Same name as a famous billboard for Citroen) – Eiffel (Talla, 1 point)

Have a nice weekend!


225 thoughts on “Friday Volcanic Riddles

  1. A new species of dog observed at Turrialba and could it be the answer to #1?

    A code for an image went wrong. Removed by Spica. Please try a link again Milord.

    • Thanks schteve, I will replace this for the the one that never shows anything, in my collection. Aaand… I find it very nice indeed that they cut the electricity cables for us to have a better view! 😉

  2. And the Riddles are solved!

    Shérine caught Pavlof Volcano. And of course it was Pavlofs Dogs…

    Talla caught Churchill, after all he was the Prime-minister. Another version of “Prime” is First, and he was also First Sea-Lord (Prime of H2O).

    I hoped you all enjoyed the Riddles, I know they are not as clever as Kilgharrahs, but one make do with what one haveth!

    • And in Iceland there is a hurricane, so do not expect to see anything happening there, the signals are swamped. I guess Islander is out chasing the flying sheep.

      Almannavarnir just issued a bulletin warning for winds up towards 60 meters per second.

  3. hi carl its a huge storm system its affecting the u.k but not a strong but I think its the same storm system . sinabung volcano is back again. Does this volcano have a history of strong eruptions.

    • Is there proof of a causality link here? Could Jules Verne have been right all along? There is a humdinger of a storm over Iceland and presto, Gunung Sinabung erupts!

      • Ha! You may laugh now but how do you explain that all began on Friday the 13th then, at 13.00 hours Central Time? Huh? Huh? Thought so! There’s more than meets the eye here and I bet HAARP is at the bottom of it.

        ( 😉 )

    • Hello Jack!

      Not as far as is known. But, with long dormant Indonesian volcanoes it is normally hard to predict their behaviour. Nothing is though pointing towards it having a larger than normal eruption.
      The region is though well known for having volcanism that can go big on occation, just take a look at the neighbouring Toba volcano.
      My guess is though that this will not be a big one and judging from the evacuation figures it looks like Surono (the head volcanologist) thinks that it will be a maximum of VEI-3.

    • And Belgium sit know in the rainy “tail” from the same storm, luckily winds are only ‘strong’ along the coast, but we’re having really rainy autumn weather last week.

  4. thank you Carl. is this volcano the size has Pinatubo or has it got a smaller magma chamber to Pinatubo. i was reading this article in the national post that scientist might have found the volcano that cause the 5th century dark ages they claim IIopango in El Salvador erupted in 536AD i was wonder if you seen the article on this .

    • Hard actually to know if it has as big a chamber. The likelihood of that is not that high though.
      No, I have not seen that article, please put in a link if you have one. I think many would be interested.

  5. TORONTO — American paleoecologist Dr. Robert Dull believes he’s pretty much solved the mystery behind a catastrophic global climate change event from the sixth century.

    As the new History series “Perfect Storms” shows, Dull has found solid circumstantial evidence that an eruption at El Salvador’s Lake Ilopango volcano was the cause of the so-called Dust Veil of AD 536, when a thick dust and ash cloud over the Northern Hemisphere cooled parts of the Earth and led to millions of deaths.

    GL Edit: I think this is the link, if it’s not, please advise.

  6. sorry carl and everyone if some one could find a better link please post it..

    GL Edit: See Above. Please check to make sure that’s the link that you wanted.


  7. thank you CARL that was the article . also global news site has a video but I won’t this time try and copy and paste it. carl could have been this volcano and kratatoa at the same time frame cause this veil that cover the earth

    • It was not me who did that, it was Lurking who put in the link and did the fixing. Please do link, but try to not post entire articles 🙂

  8. Word of advice for anyone who decides to blend an entire grapefruit.

    It’s THICK!

    I cut it back with water and a whole lime… it seems like it would be better with whiskey. But I have to work tomorrow.

    After reading that article from earlier, I wonder, is there a such thing as paleoeconomists?

    • Interesting that they’re making a tv special on it. I knew the eruption was under-studied, but what strikes me is that the guy doing research on it mentioned it as one of the 5-6 largest eruptions in the last 10,000 years, which is a pretty strong statement, especially given how the GVP had this eruption listed as a tentative VEI-6.

      I would be interested to see how this eruption impacted the central american civilizations of that time (mayans, incas).

      • I doubt that a VEI 6 could cause the dark ages. It is certainly not as big as the 181 AD Hatepe eruption, the 1883 eruption of Tambora, the Caldera-forming eruption of Crater lake, the Minoan eruption of Santorini, the caldera-forming eruption of Kikai. So it deserves a lower place than 6.

        • I participated in a dig some years ago of local Native American Arrowhead and Spear point making in a local (NE Oregon) area of slate/shale. Fair arrowheads not as good as obsidian.
          what was interesting was the site was used for several THOUSAND years. Even when there
          was oh, three feet of Mazama ash present. So it didn’t run the locals out of area…

        • More of what I was getting at is that it wasn’t actually a VEI-6, and the GVP was wrong about the size of the eruption. It’s much more likely that it was more similar in size to Tambora than Pinatubo.

      • the guy doing research on it mentioned it as one of the 5-6 largest eruptions in the last 10,000 years, which is a pretty strong statement,

        Quite so, considering that the YTT from Toba is 69,000 to 77,000 years old.

        I like the Toba big boom theory, but there are some major problems with it. Why did specifically hominids have the greatest issue with it? Does the “bottleneck” show up in Bonobos? Remember, they spend much of their idle time copulating with stuff that can’t get away. How about Homo Neanderthalis? Homo Florensis?

        I have a feeling that the YTT eruption will turn out to have had the most effect in that sector of the globe, and little elsewhere. At the time, sea levels were much lower, and the area around Australia and South East Asia had a much larger region of above sea level land. There could be several ancient villages and “cities” that have since been inundated during the Holocene. (Think DoggerLand on steroids.)

        • Very good comment as man even today build as close to water as we can. At least 90% of the “69 – 77 kA” settlements will have been lost as they are underwater now with only those along rivers and freshwater lakes showing.

          Funny thing is, why didn’t the Bottleneck theorists think of this?

          • Problem is that Toba and many of the settlements are not lower. Yes, the water level changed, but in core samples taken in an African lake that had happened almost 10 000 years before Toba. And Toba with the rest of Indonesia is uplifting due to Australia having issues with life and is busy drowning itself under Indonesia lifting it upwards.
            To make my point short, any settlement during Toban times are higher up now than before, unless we count islands between Australia and Indonesia.

      • I actually saw this documentary on UK TV yesterday – I thought it was an old documentary as it was on terrestrial TV and these things usually get aired first on pay-to-view. It wasn’t that great a programme – a lot of “re-enacting” of Emperor Justianian looking worried and a Mayan farmer wandering about in the ash. They kept re-playing a CGI of a pyroclastic flow overrunning a Mayan temple but didn’t give a time line to the 536 Event. They also said the Justinian Plague (which they said was definitely Bubonic Plague) was caused by the ash – without giving any cause or reason for this claim. I missed the first 15 minutes but based on what I saw it was a bit shoddy. Prof. Dull claimed to have found the ash layer but it looked decidedly thin to me – after pondering the metres found at Pompeii and so on. It might be re-shown and I will watch it again as what happened in the mid-530’s has entralled me since I first heard about it – the fact that I didn’t hang on every word of this programme shows how bad it was. (I speak from a personal point of view here – others may have seen it and thought it was good).

  9. Carl and everyone: yes, there are hurricane winds at the moment in Iceland. It is a very intense winter storm. We have a few ice and even snow showers since late afternoon, at 100m altitude in the lowlands, quite close to the sea! The worst is on the north, the east and the highlands, where many tourists are stuck and in big trouble.

    The winds have got here up to 120km/h with gusts to 145km/h, but in the highlands gusts are up to 215km/h and sustained winds of 140km/h. All with snow and temperatures around or below 0ºC. With the extreme wind, cold and ice, anyone hiking that has not seen the weather forecast is probably in dangerous trouble.

    Its fun to watch the storm from indoors. But winds are extreme and trees just keep breaking flying branches.

    This added to the record cold summer we got. I was shocked to see the absence of the native blueberries almost devoid of fruit this year. And even the native and well adapted birch could not produce any seed this year. It was a very cold spring, a non-existent, cold and extremely wet summer and this is a harsh and cold start to the autumn. Probably 2013 will do gown as one of the coldest summers in decades in south Iceland.

    • Bah… just anecdotal weather accounts. Iceland will be par boiled by December. The models say so. 😀

      Weather models are much like runway models… not are always “there.”

      Remember the programing and audio rule of thumb: Garbage in = Garbage out

    • My Blueberries are on their 3rd year and so far have been reticent to anything.

      Nearby is a pick yer own farm with about 5 to 10 acres of rowed plants that have nusiance growth weeded out. Personally, I would prefer Muscedine. (a sort of wild grape).

    • I think that is part of an oil operation. If you look you can see an eternal flame next to the phone mast. It shows very clearly now when it is night.

    • Nice article but DO NOT RATE the article as Discovery com demands access to your FB account likes and friends list. F’in ANAL AR$EHOLES!

      DragonEdit: Manners young Henrik. The phrase you are looking for is “I fart in their general direction”, you have to teach them even younger ones to insult like a true Gent.

    • Interesting, when I look at the US/Canada seaboard I see a couple of fun things. There is one hotspot track running from Massachusets to the WSW at depth, it is crystal clear.
      Then we have the volcanic ridge that Titanic rests upon right outside the Grand Banks.

      My bet? If they are right it is the Grandbanks feature that is where the hotspot is at now. It is very close to their prediction of the current hotspot location.

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