I'm not gonna lie, my brain spent most of its time watching this video just going "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Which I will defend as perfectly natural, because volcanoes are all kinds of awe-inspiring badassery and drones are allowing us to get all up in their innards.
Disclaimer: Ragnaros the Firelord does not actually make an appearance.
The internet's been a treasure trove of volcanic videos this week. We've handpicked a healthy batch of them.
Damn, Earth, you scary.
Oh this? This is just part of the Earth exploding in a violent volcanic eruption. No big deal. NASA just released this incredible video on their NASA Goddard Instagram account showing the 2009 eruption of the Sarychev Volcano shot from the International Space Station.
Hey, what's that sounds? BOOM. Dead.
Before a volcano erupts there can be a series of small earthquakes, sort of like warning shots. They build up in frequency leading to the eruption, which can cause something called "harmonic tremor." New evidence shows that the harmonic tremor can reach the audible range for humans, but if you can hear it, it's probably time to start running.
Some science news stories involve NASA. Some involve volcanoes, noxious vapors, or even drones. What are the chances of all of the above rolled into one? Exceptional, because NASA in fact sent drones flying over an active volcano in Costa Rica. The only thing this story is missing are some dinosaur bones or a comet. For now.
We may have ducked the end of the world last week, but a new study by researchers from Brigham Young University
reminds us, that in some small way or another, the world is always kind of ending. The study suggests that Hawaii's volcanic islands are, ever so slowly, being returned to the sea.
The culprit is not erosion, or rising sea levels brought on by climate change, but something much more insidious. The islands, it seems, are being dissolved by their own groundwater.
The expression "don't negotiate with terrorists" certainly didn't exist in sixth century Japan, but something more along the lines of not trying to reason with volcanoes is a likely possibility. Archaeologists uncovered the preserved remains of a man clad in armor, at a site they've dubbed the "Pompeii of Japan," who they believe died attempting to beseech an erupting volcano to maybe, y'know, not rain down fire and ash on his people. Going by what he was wearing at the time of his death, analysts guess that the man counted himself among the upper castes of Japanese society, though they're still debating whether he was an incredibly brave soul or just one of the many people throughout recorded history that have made huge mistakes.
Scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA) are seeing increased levels of sulfur dioxide in the already rather poisonous atmosphere of Venus.
There are a couple of possible explanations for the spike in levels of the gas, but right now, we're going to get excited about the coolest possibility, which is that the ESA's Venus Express probe is seeing the results of some not insignificant volcanic activity on the surface of the planet.
Geologists at the University of Buffalo
are making us think we picked the wrong career today, publishing a study in the journal Physical Review Letters
that explores the nature and formation of volcanic maar craters
-- bowl-like craters that are formed by volcanic activity, but resemble the impact craters left behind by some meteorites. How, you may ask does one recreate a crater in the lab? The immensely satisfying answer is "in slow motion with a lot of dynamite."
As you can see in the short video below which replicates the explosion and aftermath that go into forming one of these craters, we may have missed our calling.
A team of European paleontologists have described s nine million-year-old rhinoceros skull in a nearly unbelievable state of preservation
, thanks to the fact that it once belonged to a rhino who suffered the unlucky fate of being flash-cooked in volcanic ash.
While it sounds like a pretty terrible way to go for the rhino, the immaculately preserved skull is a boon for researchers, who are getting a better look at the ancient mammal than they ever thought possible.
A new study from the University of Miami
shows that satellite images of inflating magma balloons deep beneath the ground can predict the eruptions of some volcanoes. The groundbreaking study marks the first solid evidence that factors like ground deformation can suggest a volcanic eruption in the offing
-- and opens the possibility that, with some fine-tuning, satellite images could help improve eruption preparedness and let people know when they need to get to safety.
A team of geologists has identified one of the largest magma bubbles on the face of the planet
, and delightfully, it happens to look like a giant sombrero
. A bubble of superheated magma 62 miles across is constantly growing and rising in the center of the geologic uplift, while all around it, the rest of the valley sinks incrementally lower each year, turning the sombrero uplift into the new Most Awesome Geologic Phenomenon Named After a Thing You Wear On Your Head.
Sorry, Mount Hood
, Helmet Peak
, and Hat Mountain
Does pumping water at a very high pressure into cracks in a volcano to break up the bedrock around it and release heat from the earth sound like a safe thing to do? If it doesn't, you must not work for U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), because that's exactly the process the agency just greenlit. Seattle-based AltaRock Energy recently got permission from the BLM to hydrofrack the ground around Oregon's dormant Newberry Volcano, because there's no way that could possibly end badly.
Large swathes of the Greek island of Santorini
are covered in pumice from an enormous volcanic explosion thousands of years ago, a major catastrophe of the ancient world. Lately, the volcanic archipelago has seen some more geological rumblings, starting with a series of small earthquakes a couple years ago that marked the first seismic activity seen on the island in more than a quarter of a century. It now appears those quakes brought along some company, in the form of an underground balloon of magma that may be as large as 20 million cubic meters --
so huge, it has raised the surface of the islands as much as 14 centimeters
in some areas. Researchers with the University of Bristol published their findings -- like the fact that the idyllic coastline in the photo above may well be a little bit higher now -- this week in the journal Nature Geoscience.
In a stirring reminder of what art and science can do when they put their minds together, faculty from the art and geology departments at Syracuse University have joined forces to make a DIY lava flow
in one of the school's parking lots. The picture above is not an artistic exploration of the nature of molten rock, or a very convincing substitute that helps students better understand the nature of a geological phenomenon that isn't often seen in upstate New York. No siree, that is honest-to-goodness homemade molten basalt
right there. Hit the jump for more info on the project and a video of the homemade lava flow in action.
There are a few places on Earth where elemental sulfur is so abundant that it's economical to mine it: One of them is the Ijen volcano complex in East Java, Indonesia. Russian photographer Dmitry Ivanov was allowed to tag along on a sulfur-mining expedition through Ijen's central crater, and the photos he gathered are nothing short of incredible.
The above is a picture of the dining area at Vetutius Placidus
' thermopolium (or snack bar). The ancient eating establishment was buried under a massive wave of scalding ash during the eruption of Pompeii
in the year 79. The Independent
The thermopolium, one of the best preserved sites in Pompeii, has been closed to the public for years in order to protect it from further damage. But following months of detailed excavation and preservation work, all visitors will soon be able to go inside and get an idea of a typical ancient Roman lunch establishment.
Is anyone else really hungry?