Dirty Thunderstorm

Volcanic lighting happens when parts of impelled debris (including glass, ice, and rock) flash against one another in the brutal tuft that transcends an erupting well of lava.

Pliny the Younger – a First-Century writer, is credited with recording the most punctual surviving record of an alleged ‘dirty thunderstorm’, after witnessing the emission of ‘Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD’ – a shocking dark cloud. Younger noticed in a letter to Tacitus was minced by spouting “flames and great tongues of fire” like much-amplified lighting.

In January 2020, photographs of a comparative showcase close to Manila, Philippines caught the world’s attention when the Taal Volcano ejected.

The extreme grinding of dimness and light protected by the pictures reviews the calamitous vision of ‘The Destruction of Pompei and Herculaneum’, the Romantic craftsman John Martin’s 1822 painterly entertainment of the ancient ‘dirty thunderstorm’, which Pliny the Younger witnesses first-hand.

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