Dude, Want a Boat That Can Sail This Lava Lake


Oh, USGS. Oh, Kilauea. Masterpiece. The visuals, the music, the bits of geologic geekery – perfect. Put this one on full screen, turn your volume up, and tell people to bugger off for five minutes if you haven’t already.

Am I the only one looking down in that lava lake and thinking, “You know, if we had a lava-proof boat, we could sail that sucker…”?

Muchos gracias to Michael Hill, who shared this with me on G+ ages ago. It’s sad I’ve only just now gotten round to watching it. It’s sad that this is the first time in my life I’ve heard of Zero-Project. It’s sad I didn’t know that the USGS was capable of this kind of hotness. Lava + metal = scorching. Yum!

(I’d swear one of you linked to this in comments, too, but I can’t find it now. Whoever you are, thank you, too!)

Comments

  1. says

    Dammit, I was there in July, when the crater was merely fuming and glowing slightly. Apparently things have picked up in the last few months.

  2. says

    I was just thinking one could write an awesome murder mystery involving bodies and other incriminating evidence being disposed of in a lava lake. That’s gotta be just about the best way on earth to completely destroy something, short of a nuclear explosion.

  3. Rodney Nelson says

    Am I the only one looking down in that lava lake and thinking, “You know, if we had a lava-proof boat, we could sail that sucker…”?

    Probably.

  4. says

    Am I the only one looking down in that lava lake and thinking, “You know, if we had a lava-proof boat, we could sail that sucker…”?

    You would need Kryptonian ancestry, no matter what the boat was made of.

  5. pipenta says

    Lava-proof boat?

    /me shudders

    All I can think of is one of those recipes where you cover a fish or something with dough or clay before you put it in the oven. Then, when you take it out again, you use a mallet to break the crust (that there would be your hull) and take out the tender cooked flesh inside for a delicious dinner.

    I’ll stick with water as my fluid medium of choice for surface transport please.

  6. Rob says

    You know, if we had a lava-proof boat, we could sail that sucker…

    It’s only an engineering problem. High temperature ceramics (okay really high temperature ceramics), lots of insulation cooling plant, probably some kind of disposable heat sink system. Reasonable development time and shit loads of money.

    Tell you what, you come up with the money, I’ll co-ordinate the design and the readership of FTB can vote on a test pilot…

  7. geocatherder says

    Am I the only one looking down in that lava lake and thinking, “You know, if we had a lava-proof boat, we could sail that sucker…”?

    Um, Dana, it’s rock.

  8. lpetrich says

    Nice sight. I’ve been able to find lots of Hawaii-eruption video on YouTube. Kilauea has been continually erupting since about 1983, Jan 3 next year should be its 30th anniversary.

    It’s almost a pity that there aren’t any continental-basalt eruptions now happening. Continental-basalt plains like the Columbia Plateau in Washington, the Deccan Traps in India, and the Siberian traps in Russia. Also the lunar maria.

    I remember going to Spokane, WA to meet some people (I live in western Oregon), and on the east side of the Sierras was a lot of stepped rock formations on each side of the Columbia River. Those formed in the Miocene, about 13 – 15 million years ago.

    The lunar maria formed much longer ago, about 3 – 4 billion years ago.

    One of my favorite geological and paleontological exercises is “Where was everybody?” What were the continents like? The organisms? What were our ancestors like back then? Also the ancestors of various familiar species.

  9. rq says

    What impresses me most is that this is rock… And it serves as an excellent reminder that, under unfamiliar circumstances, even the most familiar things become unfamiliar, too. (I think I mentioned that once in relation to one of your St Helens posts.) So strange to think that that oozing mess is the same stuff I stand on.
    Incredible.
    (As for the sailing, well, I liked pipenta’s comment about cooking fish in clay. At the same time, indulging in a bit of fantasy, it would be interesting how one would propulse oneself across such a lake – heat currents? Because, presumably, due to the heat of immediate molten rock presence, you couldn’t sail it with ‘ordinary’ wind. And for some reason, I think the ever-changing heat currents would be a lot trickier to handle.)