Scary footage shows scientist coming way too close to an active volcano

Scary footage shows scientist coming way too close to an active volcano

There are times in life where you just have to take a risk. Whether it's by leaving a dead-end job to chase your dreams, or talking to that person you have always liked but never had the guts to speak to, if you never take a chance you may end up with a life that's a lot less interesting than you hoped. The thing is, we are kind of hard-wired to avoid these kind of situations.

Certain hormones are released in response to fear by the adrenal glands as part of our fight-or-flight mechanism. This often factors into how we over-think situations and get stressed out in modern life, but at its heart the idea is for our bodies to be wary and ready for danger.

At least, in most walks of life, that's true. Some people have incredibly dangerous jobs where their lives are put at risk on a regular basis. Humans are pretty good at adapting, so in the same way as you might get used to any profession, some people don't bat an eye at conditions like this. Case in point - the scientist who got way too close to lava just to get a sample.

The footage was captured during Richard Hammond's Journey to the Centre of the Planet, a two-part nature documentary that investigated exactly how the Earth works. Richard Hammond, the English presenter best known for co-hosting Top Gear from 2002 until 2015 with Jeremy Clarkson and James May, explored where volcanoes come from and why earthquakes happen in the first episode, titled The Centre of the Planet.

In this video, one particular scientist with nerves of steel approached a lava lake seeking to get a sample of the molten rock, much to the dismay of the crew, who were watching from a safe distance. Located at in Africa's Great Rift Valley, Mount Nyiragongo is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and not something you want to get too close to.

You can hear Dr Dario Tedesco, from the University of Naples, one of the world's leading authorities on the volcano, trying to alert the scientist that their life is at risk to little success. Nyiragongo's lava can flow at a stunning 60 miles per hour, faster than any other lava in the world.

Their suit deflects some of the heat, but there's not much to do when the lava eventually overflows the crater. Things start to get tense as the lava near to the rim starts to boil and become more erratic. Luckily the scientist gets away in time, but within a few minutes, the area they were in is a site of a lava overflow that could have spelled their doom.

The video, which has by now amassed over 8.5 million views, drew a variety of replies from commenters. One wrote that "He did it for SCIENCE. It was a necessary risk", while another joked that "Things people will do for a selfie these days".

Whether this scientist is brave or stupid is up to you to decide, but we can all agree he was lucky to get out of the situation unharmed.