In the new "Star Trek" movie, Spock traverses an active volcano. It looks like pretty heralding stuff, but still, it’s only a movie—and three real-life adventurers have done it for real.
According to the video above, posted by Barcroft TV, three documentary adventurers paddled their kayaks alongside an active volcano—even stepping out for a hike on top of the still-smoldering mass of volcanic rock—for an episode of a new Brazilian TV show, “Kaiak,” on the Canal Off network.
“The goal of our expedition was to find rivers and waterfalls in Hawaii. And the possibility of finding a river of lava was so enticing,” said Pedro Oliva, who co-stars on the program.
They chose Kilauea Volcano, which has been actively erupting since 1983 and is the most active of the five known volcanoes on the Big Island. Home to Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess, Kilauea, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, may even be the most active volcano in the world. Because of the ongoing lava flow, a landmass has been growing out of its base, some 40 miles beneath the ocean’s surface.
“Myself and my friends Ben Stookesberry and Chris Korbulic enter our kayaks to arrive as close as possible to the river of lava that is flowing from Kilauea,” Oliva said. “When I was closest to the lava, it was impossible to put your hand in the water because it was literally boiling and I would burn my hands."
The heat emanating from the lava flow was so strong that Oliva and his team wore white sunglasses to protect themselves from the lava’s glare.
Getting close to Kilauea can be so dangerous that even video taken of lava flowing from the volcano into the ocean has made headlines.
Still, not content to settle for merely paddling alongside the boiling waters, Oliva also stepped on top of the newly formed volcanic rock, posing for pictures.
“Getting on top was tense and the most dangerous time. I got out of there using the paddle to probe to see where I could step,” he said. “It was so scary because I felt like the ground was giving and I would fall right into the lava.”
Oliva added, “I hope people don’t see these images and think it’s safe to paddle so close to the lava because, really, it’s not safe at all.”