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The Best Way to See Lava Up Close is By Hawaiian Tour Boat

It’s hard for us to pick a favorite byproduct of volcanic activity, but if we had to choose just one, we suppose it would be lava (sorry, volcanic ash). It can be hard for non-scientists to safely observe molten rock in a natural environment, but on January 9, passengers aboard Lava Boat “LavaKai,” lead by Captain Shane Turpin, got a super hot treat (via LaughingSquid).

First, some context: Around New Year’s Eve 2016, a collapsed lava delta led to a lava “fire hose” pouring into the ocean from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano. Lava was also flowing a few days later, and Turpin was able to bring his within a safe and observable distance away. Passengers took spectacular videos, like the one above, which show a consistent lavanche. The molten deposition added to the spectacle by creating massive amounts of steam — lava can be anywhere from 1,300 to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit, while Hawaiian water is around 77 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. There’s a show happening under the waves too, as rapidly cooling lava continuously adds to the island.

Flowing lava is dangerous for obvious reasons, so we’d advise those of you who find yourselves near volcanic activity to stay away. You want to see a “fire hose” like this, though, because of course you do — we’d advise getting out on the water with an expedition like “LavaKai,” because going about it on your own could burn your skin up real good, and that could really put a damper on your weekend.

Featured image: J.D. Griggs

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