Olduvai Gorge + Volcanic Riddles

In the end whoever you are, however you look, you come from here. Olduvai Gorge is the home to all hominidial homos on the planet. Photograph from Wikimedia Commons.

In the end whoever you are, however you look, you come from here. Olduvai Gorge is the home to all hominidial homos on the planet. Photograph from Wikimedia Commons. You do wan’t to click enlarge on this one.

I have said it before, some volcanoes are just overlooked. The last couple of days I have had a good reason to look at the largest active volcanic feature on the planet for reasons that I will get back to later. This feature really puts the often misused word super into good use.

Because if a supererupting supervolcano on top of a superplume doesn’t deserve it, then nothing does. Especially if the VEI-8 caldera has 8 other VEI-7 calderas inside it. South of the supervolcano you get a Maar field containing more than 60 Laachers. North of it you have Ol’Doinyo Lengai. Funnily enough this super of supers does not even have a name.

In this area the human species was born out of fire and abundance. At the same time as the volcanoes take away, they give back with the most fertile land on the planet. It is time that we return to Olduvai Gorge and Rhotia Valley to reclaim our fiery past.

Manuel is the young boy in the hood. It really deserves a name even if it will be just an ephemeral experience.

Manuel is the young boy in the hood. It really deserves a name even if it will be just an ephemeral experience. Photograph courtesy of the Japanese Coast Guard.

At the same time in Japan the young little Island is still in its birthing pangs as the images show. The Japanese authorities have decided to not name the new Island until it is 2 years. The reason for that is that islands here tend to be ephemeral and there is also a chance it will grow together with the larger Nishinoshima. Personally I think that Manuel, the waiter from Faulty Towers would be worthy as a name, sometimes he is there, most often not.

Manuel next to its mother Nishinoshima. Photograph from the Japanese Coast Guard.

Manuel next to its mother Nishinoshima. Photograph from the Japanese Coast Guard.


Last week Sissel blasted into the lead leaving Evan Chugg in second place and Diana Barnes in the third. The Race of the Volcanic Riddles is still wide open. Two points per riddle before I append the clues, after that 1 point per riddle. This week all riddles are volcanoes.

Combine the hero and the... and you get a volcano.

Combine the hero and the… and you get a volcano.

  1. Image + Image – Waynaputin, (Huaynaputina) in Peru. (Dorkviking, 2pt)
  2. Auckland and White deer lake Hallasan (Sissel, 2pt)
  3. The volcano that definitly earned its stripes – El Tigre (Matt & Harrie, 2pt each)
  4. Hercules and the Etruscans, no wonder something got veneral with the this footballers volcano. Not to forget Bruno Giordano while we are playing this Fellinian Story. Verum esse ipsum factum is very true for this volcano. – Vico (Arjanemm, 1pt)
  5. The only volcano to ever miss its own eruption – Late Island (Inannamoon667, 2pt)

Score board

11 Sissel
9 Evan Chugg
8 Diana Barnes
7 KarenZ
6 Harrie
6 Henrik
5 Talla
4 Granyia
4 Stephanie Alice Halford
3 Alison
3 Cryphia
3 Michael Ross
3 Sa’Ke
3 Shérine France
2 Kelda
2 Lughduniense
2 Lurking
2 Matt
2 Spica´s mate, St. Ananas
1 Arjanemm
1 Bobbi
1 Edward
1 Irpsit
1 Maggiemom

Rhyolite Stew

rhyolite stew

3 – 4 servings
1 lb. lean pork, diced and cooked
1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato paste
2 cup water
¼ cup rice
½ med shallot, chopped fine (or 1 tbsp dried shallots)
1 green onion, all of it, chopped fine
1 med carrot, sliced thin
1 rib celery, diced
½ small zucchini, sliced to preference
½ tsp. Tuscan Sunset herb mix from Penzeys Spices (a mix of 8 herbs, starting with basil and oregano)
2 tbsp. green pepper, chopped fine (or pepper of your choice)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. Lemon Pepper blend from Penzeys Spices (a mixture of finely ground lemon peel and pepper)
1 tsp. dried parsley

Mix all ingredients in pan. Simmer until rice is cooked.


Tuscan Sunset herb mix:

Dried shallots:

CARL (Evil Riddles) & FRAN (Magmatic Cook)


219 thoughts on “Olduvai Gorge + Volcanic Riddles

  1. I’m pretty much stuck at riddle 4. Hercules was called, Hercle, Hercele, Herecele, Herkle, Hrcle or Calanice in Etruscan times and later Heracles. That things got veneral (venereal ?) is rather obvious since all those gods and demi gods seem to have spawned offspring with everyone. I think Hercules had offspring with atleast 4 woman and several man. Same with his father Tin, Tinia, later Zeus. His mother in etruscan times, Uni/Juno, later Hera wasn’t much better in monogamy. His mother accourding to greek mythology Alcmena existed in etruscan times aswell as Alchumena, allthough i couldn’t find a relation to hercle.
    In greek and roman mythology Zeus faked the apearance of Alcmena’s husband to have sex with her and so Alcmena gave birth to Hercules. And now the story gets worse.
    But no links to volcanos for me.
    Best find was Hecates tholus on Mars, but she only has connections with Zeus, not with Hercules really..

    • Pretty much the same with me too – I ended up on Venus (venereal comes from Venus, I read) and found it is covered with volcanoes but none with an appropriate name…. But do not fear, if nobody finds the right answer, Carl will give us some good clues 🙂 .

      • Nice 🙂 I ended up at mars because it generally has greek names for features, like olympus mons. I did learn alot today about the etruscans and greek mythology. now it’s just waiting for clues 🙂

    • Me too, so a big thanks from me to eveyone who covered it in detail in here. It really helps people when we do that. At least it helped me :mrgreen:

  2. I am feeling like a python that has snuck into pig heaven and eaten the 3 little pigs… Time to continue with the wine and a few episodes of Bones.

    • I think there are only two pigs, Heracles and his superfecundational twin Iphicles. At young age they where attacked by two snakes from Hera. Hercules strangeld the snakes and used them as toys.

  3. No. 4 Pompeii

    Not sure exactly how I got to here, but it ends up with the Roman religion of the time (the knot of Hercules worn by Roman brides). One of the first founders was Numa Pompilius. The name “Hercules” was borrowed through Etruscan.

  4. While prowling about in the basement for another bottle I figured out that there are interesting earthquakes in Katla, Grimsvötn and Bárdarbunga at the same time. Not often that happens. So, a celebratory cheers for my favourite volcanoes. May they have a nice evening!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

        • Bárdi is also running low on whey so he is also having those deep quakes.
          Hm… we could probably come up with a romantic explanation for the rifting fissure eruptions as being attempts by Bárdi and Katla to get to each other. And let us not get into Grim trying to get to Lady H… no magmatic foursomes here now.

          • Hm, you might have a point there…
            How about a post-modern version. Katla and Hekla running off to a Greek Island to breed cats and write deconstructive feminist art critique of science, stating that the volcanological science is male violance on nature?
            This would of course in the end force Grim and Bárdi to move to Barcelona where they start a nightclub named Pink Björk and they live happily ever after…

            (Yes, I need my morning coffee)

  5. Pf.. checking on the “clues” while enjoying a nice red wine Volupta/ Montepuciano d’ Abruzzo only leads to Campi Flegrei and the Vesuvius, both mentioned above. The only other popping up is Santorini….

    • Lipari Island could be an option as well, seems to have a link with Vulcano as well. Seems anything in that region has a link with Hercules… but if the riddle is solved.. please explain very well…

  6. Sunday
    24.11.2013 00:00:20 64.783 -17.879 1.9 km 2.3 90.04 10.9 km ENE of Nýidalur
    23.11.2013 22:36:37 64.660 -16.590 16.2 km 0.1 99.0 3.0 km NNE of Kverkfjöll
    23.11.2013 22:35:06 64.659 -16.614 12.7 km 0.5 99.0 2.5 km N of Kverkfjöll
    23.11.2013 21:36:11 64.784 -17.863 3.2 km 1.4 99.0 11.6 km ENE of Nýidalur
    23.11.2013 21:35:53 64.782 -17.893 4.0 km 0.9 99.0 10.3 km NE of Nýidalur

  7. I am utterly pissed off at my government.

    There is a rumor bouncing around about an alleged nuclear detonation off the coast of the Carolinas. Personally, I don’t believe it. The proof is in the pudding, but one set of seismic waveforms that I’ve seen don’t have the correct waveshape for a point source detonation. The problem is, I can’t vouch for the integrity of the waveforms, or if they are for that event. Now I am poking around Iris BUDs looking for the waveforms for the quake, but they may not exist in the available seed files. The reason I’m pissed at the government? Given their reputation, I wouldn’t put it past them. That’s what angers me. See, the whole story revolves around the apparent purges that are going on at the Flag officer level in the US military.

    So… here I sit, sipping 8 year aged whiskey, waiting for the BUDs screen to update so I can see if the needed waveform is available.

    My gut feel? It was a land-slip event along the continental shelf. Those are not uncommon, and they don’t have to be associated with a fault complex. (one of the principal arguments for it being a nuke, which I think is total bullshit.) If it had been a nuke, it would have stood out like one humongous sore thumb in it’s seismic signal.




    • The purported event:

      2013-10-08 01:58:11 30.2414 -74.1776 13.4 (km depth) 4.5 M NEIC PDE NEIC ALERT NEIC 513 34 OFF EAST COAST OF UNITED STATES

      I suspect that it’s gonna show normal mode faulting if someone does or finds the focal mechanism.

      And I am still waiting on Buds to give me a time list of available data.

      • http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=338021

        Without having seen the waveform I can emediately say there is something fishy with it. No moment tensor solutions. None. There are always those. Unless it is a point source origin. There are a few point source events that could do that. But you would need the waveform data to see what it was.
        One thing is clear though, it would have been a very small nuke. Smaller than anything that is known to be in the arsenal of the US now or previously.

        If one is of the suspicious kind I would say that the fourth protocol was invoked.

        • The lack of a focal mechanism isn’t that odd. They don’t usually do those except for the larger events or those that is of special interest. (Guy AR for example)

          The purported events do not explain how to get it 13.4 km deep. Yeah, depths are usually the largest error in the postional data, but 13.4 is below the default 5.0 km value.

          I was mainly looking for the raw waveform. The relationship of the P and S waves would be quite telling.

  8. At 4, Alban hills (Colli Albani) near Rome. Had a sanctuary in honour of Jupiter on the summit. Father of Hercules.
    Or Cimini hills (Monti Cimini) renowned for it’s Etruscan ruins.

  9. Sinabung’s alert level has been raised to IV.
    Source: FB reader, Mr. Edi Amin (FB group Volcanoes). https://www.facebook.com/groups/abc.volcanoes/#
    I would suggest to you dragons to invite him over to our Vocanocafe group. He always writes his comments in French and provides locally usual information, along with Shérine.
    I’m quite concerned about Sinabung. To what extent would this volcano be really nasty?

  10. hi

    this may have been answer before but what happen over night could mean the volcano is days away from the main event but my question is this volcano the same size in height and width has Pinatubo volcano to myself its looks smaller .

      • No, just ran into this one as I was trying to solve the very difficult riddle…. but it was not the solution…
        Very local news here: Still delicious yellow tomatoes in the garden! 🙂

        • Where do you live? I picked my last tomato a month ago here in utrecht. I’ve been growing them for years. I just put the seeds of my best tasting tomatoes in a little pot in february, and put them outside in may. 6 months of tasty cherry’s 🙂

          • I live in the far south! 🙂 That is the city of Heerlen. The tomato plants stand on the south side of the house; everywhere else it is too dark and cold already. I save the seeds of the best tasting ones for next year too, drying them on a sheet of paper and leaving them alone until spring. Will not sow until 1 April next year (in smart germinating box) to prevent the plants from being higher than me in the second part of May, when they hopefully can move outside. – The window sill on the south is a great place for growing seedlings.

      • according to legend the caldera lake was created by Hercules. The Etruscans build a tunel that partly drains the lake. Fede Vico ia footballplayer. Verum esse ipsum factum, the verum factum principle from Giambattista Vico.

        • DING!!!

          And then you have Bruno Giordano who played for Lazio and Giordano Bruno who was the first real cosmologist (and was burnt at the stake).

          • Except for the fact that Bruno Giordano was a football player, I do not understand how the 2 Brunos relate to this riddle. Can you explain this to my poor little empty brain?

            • The footballer played for Lazio (Rome) and Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for the heretical idea that there might be more than one world and more than one intelligent species at Campi di’Fiori in Rome.

              The Dominikan Munk Giordano is my personal favourite not only out of being one of the first real scientists, he must also be seen in the light that he was the first to oppose orthodoxy and fundamentalism in Christianity. The last part being something that Christianity could greatly benefit from today when dogma is once again in ascendancy over truth and science.

              Never have the words “Maiori forsan cum timore sententiam in me fertis quam ego accipiam” been more true.

            • Thank you, Carl. I think I have all the clues in line now with the answer. This was a REALLY HARD riddle. You should be proud.

        • Finally ! No more excuses for postponing the dishes. The stuff you learn while solving a riddle, excellent 🙂
          Sissel, Vesuvius was a really good one too and so quick. Bruno Giordano played for Napoli too.
          Thanks for a good riddle again Carl 🙂

  11. Renato – in response to Sinabung – I wouldn’t say it’s extremely likely to be a Pinatubo or anything similar to that. Most of it’s historical eruptions have been lava flows or dome building eruptions without anything particularly “huge”. There are no igimbrite plateaus or extensive ash-flow deposits around the volcano except in the region very close to the summit.

    With that said, it’s a largely Dacitic volcano with a closed vent that hasn’t erupted in 400 years. As they frequently say “conditions are subject to change”, and this could potentially be a change in behavior for the volcano.

    If I had a guess, I would personally say it would be perhaps a VEI-4 eruption if it experiences a full magmatic eruption episode. But that’s just guesswork, and nobody really knows exactly how large it will or won’t be until it does it’s thing.

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