A tourist in Hawaii filmed his guide stepping on molten lava after the man offered to demonstrate the liquid rock’s viscosity, uploading the video to YouTube recently as the Kilauea volcano continues to threaten local communities.
Neuroscientist Alex Rivest was vacationing in Kilauea, Hawaii, when his guide offered to step on the lava, according to the Daily Mail. Rivest, who is from Massachusetts, recorded the effort. As the guide’s foot made contact with the lava, a small fire sparked, while his boot left a brief impression in the rock.
“While this may not be surprising (it is liquid rock), I think that many people think of lava as more of a hot-watery-like substance,” Rivest said.
“You would never fall into a lava lake the way you would a swimming pool, the molten rock is much more dense, so you would simply land on it, sink a little, and be burned.”
As the Huffington Post reports, the demonstration was filmed in 2010, but only recently uploaded to YouTube. Lava is currently flowing on Hawaii’s big island, nearing a shopping center and gas station, and it is expected to reach them around Christmas.
Hawaii Lava on Course to Hit Gas Station, Stores http://t.co/hFTWDFpTc5 pic.twitter.com/MZMP4KxlBz
— Jeffrey Gage (@Real_Gage) December 17, 2014
Darcy Bevens, education specialist at the University of Hawaii’s Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, noted that the temperature of the lava was around 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, and while that was enough to cause the boot to ignite, the footwear quickly extinguished because it does not burn efficiently. As the boot is removed, the indentation slowly disappears while the lava advances, once more regaining its bulbous appearance.
“The lava begins to form a solid outer ‘skin’ where it contacts the relatively cold air and ground,” Bevens noted.
“but the lava skin is still flexible for awhile, until it cools further and becomes a solid crust of glassy rock.”
— Global Edmonton (@GlobalEdmonton) December 17, 2014
Kilauea is considered one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and has been continuously erupting since 1983. As the Inquisitr previously reported, lava from the volcano has threatened homes and businesses on the Big Island since it started flowing in June. Despite a brief lull in movement in September, the lava began advancing again, prompting evacuations in Pahoa.
The owners of the threatened gas station plan to remove the remaining fuel and replace it with fire-fighting foam in an effort to help combat Hawaii’s most recent lava flow.
[Image: YouTube/ Alex Rivest via the Daily Mail]