In 1986, the US military forces bombarded what they believed to be a Libyan submarine off the coast of Sicily, Italy.
In reality, it was Empedocles; a large underwater volcano located 40 km off the southern coast of Sicily named after the Greek philosopher Empedocles who believed that everything on Earth was made up of the four elements.
His peak is over 19 feet in depth and at times appears above the surface as a result of seismic activity. This volcano has long been the subject of controversy. In 1831, it erupted and subsequently created an island in the middle of the Sicilian canal. Roughly circular in shape, its circumference was over 5 miles and 213 feet in height. This island had been claimed by the United Kingdom, Sicily, and France, with each nation launching expeditions to plant their respective flags. On or about August 11th, the eruption ceased, and the island slowly receded beneath the water’s surface. The territorial battle ended on January 12, 1831 when the island vanished from sight.