You’re looking at Christchurch, New Zealand resident Simon Turner, who just wanted some marshmallows and beer with his lava viewing. He’s perched atop Mt. Marum, which is one of the world’s few persistently active lava lakes. It’s located on Ambrym Island, which is part of the Republic of Vanuatu.
Freelance cameraman Bradley Ambrose shot this video, and has been there multiple times with multiple New Zealand compatriots who just want a taste of getting insanely close to lava floes. A 2013 feature in Red Bulletin magazine saw Ambrose accompany New Zealand professional extreme natural event chronicler Geoff Mackley to film the most unbelievable close-up footage of Mt. Marum’s lava lake that’s been recorded to date:
But Mackley, it turns out, was missing two things: marshmallows and beer. Simon Turner may not have gotten as close as Mackley, but he may arguably have had more fun visiting Mt. Marum since he was so well prepared. He used a large tent peg to get the marshmallow nicely toasted and gooey over the floes.
As videos on YouTube must, of course Ambrose’s shots of Turner have attracted cries that this was obviously ‘shopped. It’s not an unreasonable assertion, considering that lava temperatures can get up to 2,282 F. While we weren’t there to witness this event, Red Bulletin reports that Ambrose had visited Mt. Marum at least three times prior to his trip with Mackley, so presumably he knew exactly what he was doing to get the shots. Also, during Mackley’s expedition, he did manage to rappel down to a ledge about 100 feet above the lava lake—where he was only able to stay for a few seconds in his t-shirt and cargo shorts due to the intense heat. He came back later wearing a heat suit and appropriate breathing apparatus so he could spend more time gazing out over the molten lake.
All we’ll say is, it’s a 1,300 foot drop from the top of the cliff down to where the lava is, there’s a 7.5 mile expanse of barren ash plain at the top to camp on, and camera angles count for a lot. All those facts combined still don’t make this video any less entertaining.
[via Laughing Squid]