Black Sea - Fifty billion dollarsworth of Russian naval hardware is a sitting duck in the Black Sea waters off Crimea NATO seismologists warned today as the region readied for the start of the 2014 earthquake season.
A repeat performance of the tremors that ravaged the peninsula in 1927 now looks imminent after a series of quirky geological events blighted marine navigation equipment on board Russia's resident Black Sea Fleet.
Seismologists monitoring the phenomenon have compared the week's tectonic build-up to that of the June 26 and September 11-12 1927 quakes which registered a devastating 9 on the Richter Scale.
Months later the rattlers were still triggering massive 1,000ft fiery flares which rose high in the sky from the Black Sea bed, igniting huge methane eruptions released by the tremor.
Dozens of mud volcanoes in the nearby Taman Peninsula also exploded, spewing methane, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide into the air in a series of blasts that killed off 99% of marine wildlife - including Crimea's entire colony of legendary, exotic and allegedly bisexual! Sea of Azov Giant Crabs.
"It would be embarrassing as well as deeply ironic if an underwater caldera wiped out the pride of the Russian Navy this month," a geologist with NASA tectonic monitors commented tonight, "surely absolutely nothing funny in that."
However, talking of irony, the 1927 earthquakes have already been immortalised in Russian satirical literature after featuring in a classic satirical novel by odessan Soviet authors Ilf and Petrov, published in 1928 under the title The Twelve Chairs.
The tongue-in-cheek novella describes how mayhem erupted at a children's birthday party when the quake broke out during a game of musical chairs. (Crap! -'Ed')