There might be a hidden super volcano near Pompeii that could erupt and make Vesuvius look like a picnic, scientists say.
Reuters reported that the super volcano is located across the bay of Naples from Pompeii, and Italian scientists are planning on drilling underneath to better understand the volcano.
Supervolcanoes are fueled by giant pools of magma that form deep underground, according to the Daily Independent.
"These type of areas can, at their maximum eruptive strength, be the origin of the only eruptions which could have catastrophic consequences globally, having the same intensity as the impact of very large meteorites would have," said project head Dr. Giuseppe De Natale to Reuters.
According to the Daily Mail, a super volcano eruption is the most catastrophic natural disaster that can hit our planet (other than an asteroid).
A May study in PLoS ONE showed that an eruption from a super volcano in Indonesia may have come close to wiping out the entire human species.
The chief of the drilling project in Pompeii says that the drilling will increase "our ability to detect small episodes that are precursors of future eruptions" by 10,000 times. He considers those who fear the drilling "ill-informed," noting that projects seeking sources of thermal energy sent down dozens of less secure probes decades ago without incident.