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Sicilians are not normally renowned for their punctuality but something strange is afoot that’s making them turn up early for work.

Hundreds of digital clocks on the island are running more than 15 minutes fast and no-one is quite sure why. The phenomenon has left people scratching their heads for weeks and several theories have been put forward involving aliens, poltergeists, volcanic activity on Mount Etna and solar explosions. Armageddonists are pointing to further proof of the imminent end of the world.

The town of Catania lies at the heart of the mystery and two young locals have set up a facebook page calling for those affected to come forward. One of them, Francesco Nicosia, told French online magazine Rue89 “I realised something was wrong when I started getting to work earlier. After some investigation I noticed that I wasn’t the only one who was on time, which is quite rare here in Sicily.”

This isn’t the first time the island has experienced strange goings on linked to electronic devices: several years ago electronic equipment started spontaneously catching fire across the rural countryside, reports Rue89.

Among the most credible explanations is electrical disturbance caused by underwater cables that have been undergoing maintenance, but that hasn’t stopped many who think that the whole thing is a conspiracy to punish Sicilians for their tardiness.

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