When was the last time you saw someone get up close and personal with a volcano?
Probably never, except through the eyes of film fantasy, television documentaries, or the occasional adventure video game. Shifting all fantasy aside, take a look at some impressive images and video of a volcano in action.
Mount Tavurvur, located near the town of Rabaul in the eastern region of Papua New Guinea, erupted on Friday morning at about 3 a.m. local time, spewing molten lava and forcing nearby residents to leave their homes and businesses. People in surrounding areas were also advised to stay indoors for their own safety. Some fearless onlookers — both within close proximity and at a safe distance, across the water — captured a variety of pictures and footage. Now you can see many of those incredible pictures all over Twitter and Facebook.
The massive body of smoke and ash plume originating from the volcano is almost 12 miles long. Australia airline Qantas has had to divert some international flights to avoid the ash clouds in the affected area.
This isn't the first time that Mount Tavurvur has erupted. Twenty years ago, along with local volcano Vulcan, it claimed five lives. And in 1937, one of the more deadly eruptions resulted in the deaths of more than 500 people.