The Italian Almanac

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Italian News - March 30

For the first time anywhere in the world, Italians have managed to tap the national electricity grid into power generated by waves. The successful experiment took place at Messina, where the waves of the Strait known to the ancients as the deadly whirlpool Charybdis proved to generate a respectable 40kw of power.

The three-propeller turbine prototype developed by the Ponte di Archimede company, dubbed Kobold, is even more environmentally friendly because much of its own power comes from 39 solar panels. "The project is a proud achievement for Italy and I'm happy that Messina has become the first city on the planet to receive electrical power from the sea," said Archimede President Elio Matacena.

"The marine currents in the Strait which in ancient times sowed terror among sailors today provide an inexhaustible source of energy". Charybdis was one of the twin perils ancient mariners warned of. The other was the monster Scylla, thought to be a reference to the unforgiving rocks on the other side of the strait.

In Homer's classic the Odyssey, Ulysses steers clear of Charybdis only to lose six of his men to Scylla's snaky heads.