The Atlantic

The Mystery of 'Venus's Hair' After a Volcanic Eruption

How do long, white filaments grow out of barren rock?
Source: NASA Earth Observatory

In the summer of 2011, earthquake swarms started hitting the Canary Islands off the African coast. The ocean belched up sulfur, staining the water yellow and green. Fish died. Seawater bubbled over like a jacuzzi. Smoking lava balloons leapt from the roiling surface.

These violent events were all hallmarks of an erupting underwater volcano, which over 138 days blanketed the seafloor with newly formed volcanic rock.

By the time a group of Italian and Spanish scientists sailed to the Tagoro Volcano in 2014, things had quieted

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