On March 16, fisherman who were at work near to the the islands of Montecristo and Pianosa captured footage of water columns reaching up to a foot high.
The phenomenon, which took place in the Tyrrhenian Sea just west of Italy, baffled scientists who were stumped for an explanation.
But a study from Italy’s Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), commissioned by the Department of Civil Protection, revealed a mud volcano at the bottom of the ocean which could release a violent emission of gasses which causes the water columns.
Mystery sea explosion stunned fishermen
The team were able to rule out the possibility of drastic and sudden temperature changes under the sea for the cause of the water columns.
The study from the INGV says that thermal cameras “have shown that the gas emissions are not linked with temperature changes in specific areas".
A mud volcano may be to blame
It added: “The chemical analysis of sea water, carried out by INGV Geochemical Group in Naples, showed a significant increase in methane concentration.
“The inspection made by remotely operated underwater vehicles, led by INGV staff of Portovenere, has not identified localised thermal anomalies.”
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It adds: “These elements narrow the possible hypotheses,” before saying that it is “a type of 'mud volcano' phenomenon in which large quantities of methane protrude in a vigorous manner.”