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October 1, 2012 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Two photographers risked their lives to become the first people to capture the explosive moment fiery lava crashes into the sea.

Nick Selway, 28, and CJ Kale, 35, braved baking hot 110F waters to capture these images, as they floated just feet from scalding heat and floating lava bombs.

The pair, who chase the lava as it flows from Kilauea through Kalapana, Hawaii, spend their days camped on the edge of active volcanoes to capture the incredible images.
posted by heyho (36 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
A photo caption says: Too close: A flip-flop catches fire as it is exposed to the lava - a warning to the photographers of the risks of doing this kind of work

BOOTS OR GTFO
posted by resurrexit at 1:08 PM on October 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Shall we play "one of these is not like the other" ? Hint, look at the very last picture ..
posted by k5.user at 1:11 PM on October 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


alternative link for anyone avoiding the daily mail
posted by elizardbits at 1:12 PM on October 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is the worthiest Daily Mail link that I think I've ever seen.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:12 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just have to link this BOC track...
posted by symbioid at 1:12 PM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am curious as to where the photographer is standing for this one
posted by shakespeherian at 1:14 PM on October 1, 2012


Don't worry they put their camera in a protective surf housing.
posted by skrozidile at 1:14 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great photos, but the prose is makes you weep.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:15 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the Daily Mail is a little horrible, eh. Do they have something against hiring proofreaders? Still, nice photos. (But really, those captions...)
posted by heyho at 1:17 PM on October 1, 2012


I am curious as to where the photographer is standing for this one

Wyoming, by the looks of it.
posted by The World Famous at 1:18 PM on October 1, 2012


"Beautiful, but dangerous: Mr Selway and Mr Kale don't recommend that others attempt to recreate the incredible shots"

Even though it would be totally sweet to do so. You should never ever attempt this exciting activity that will be totally thrilling and gain notoriety for you. I mean... it is just too incredible to be worth trying....
posted by Hicksu at 1:20 PM on October 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


That is seriously one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I'm glad there are people dumb enough to get that close to lava so the rest of us can see it!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:20 PM on October 1, 2012 [8 favorites]


Lava, fuck yeah!
posted by Mister_A at 1:23 PM on October 1, 2012


Did anyone else think Minecraft when they read the link?
posted by OwlBoy at 1:26 PM on October 1, 2012


Those are beautiful photographs. But I don't get the claim that they are "the first people to capture the explosive moment fiery lava crashes into the sea." The very first underwater video of lava flowing into the sea and forming pillow basalt was shot by Lee Tepley way back in the early 1970's. Lee Tepley is the same dude responsible for those "When Animals Attack" programs way back when. His early film is very dated and kind of campy but still good.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 1:36 PM on October 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


I never thought the term "searing-hot" would be used in such an understated manner.

These are incredible. I particularly like the ones that also have rainbows, although they really should have brought a unicorn or something for the Trapper Keeper trifecta.
posted by staccato signals of constant information at 1:48 PM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Super cool photos, but c'mon, guy just took an extra flip flop out with him and tossed it in the lava to see it burn, didn't lose it running from the fire.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:06 PM on October 1, 2012


guy just took an extra flip flop out with him and tossed it in the lava to see it burn, didn't lose it running from the fire.

"I tossed a thong in lava just to watch it burn." - Johnny Cash
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:09 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Somebody should mash up these pictures and their captions with Breaking Calvin.
posted by univac at 2:10 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those are beautiful photographs. But I don't get the claim that they are "the first people to capture the explosive moment fiery lava crashes into the sea."

I was about to comment on this, too. I remembered that Tepley film and there are already a large number of photographs of lava hitting the surface of the ocean. Apparently there are also tour groups that take a boat out to watch this?

Maybe there's a certain condition that these photographers had that the others didn't. First people to capture the explosive moment fiery lava crashes into the sea, wearing shorts and no t-shirts.
posted by CancerMan at 2:11 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


What? No GoPro?
posted by Thorzdad at 2:31 PM on October 1, 2012


Bells the size of church-balls is key to getting awesome volcano/lava pics- and luck, lots of luck. Sometimes though, no amount of luck will do you any good.
posted by Phyllis Harmonic at 2:43 PM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Bells the size of church-balls
posted by CynicalKnight at 2:57 PM on October 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I saw thinking of Magic card illustrations. Fantastic!
posted by ignignokt at 3:01 PM on October 1, 2012


I've seen that live, although not quite from that close. We hiked the volcano on the Big Island on our honeymoon in 1991 and were able to view the lava flowing into the see from a cliff a few hundred yards down the shore. It was impressive enough at that distance!
posted by COD at 3:49 PM on October 1, 2012


I'm with Seymour Zamboni; there's been footage and images of this for literally decades. Of course, expecting anything approaching facts from the daily mail is a humorous exercise in vainglory.

Nonetheless, some striking pics.
posted by smoke at 4:43 PM on October 1, 2012


Amateurs. Mining out all that obsidian is going to be a nightmare. They should've used the redstone moulding method.
posted by howfar at 4:44 PM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Anyone with me that the 2nd picture looks exactly like a lava dragon, complete with gouts of flame pouring from its nostrils?
posted by shivohum at 5:30 PM on October 1, 2012


If you want to try this (minus the visible lava), you can swim at the confluence the Boiling River and the Gardner River in Yellowstone. You can modulate the temperature by how close you get to the Boiling River.
It’s a very unique experience – you can be standing with one foot in water that is too warm for comfort and the other foot in ice-cold river water. Even as you lie in the river, you could feel the currents change and your chosen spot might become too warm – or cold.
posted by 445supermag at 5:42 PM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I find myself remembering Larry Niven's story "Flatlander," about a stupidly rich Earthican* who gets the bright idea to go visit something "very interesting" in space. Niven's narrator, Beowulf Shaeffer, a Spacer who has lived every day in an environment that will kill you instantly if you take it for granted, is drawn into the plot as the Earthican's pilot and luckily manages to keep the "flatlander" from killing them both.

Looking at these photos, you begin to realize how narrow the envelope for life is, and how easily the careless forces of Nature could reduce a "daredevil" to random, curious chemicals.

--------
*Futurama reference. Who am I to dispute the head of Richard Nixon?
posted by SPrintF at 6:38 PM on October 1, 2012


Lava that can kill you is one of the reasons they invented telephoto lenses.
Embrace them, boys.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:31 PM on October 1, 2012


Thinking back to those daring childhood summers in Sonora, Mexico when we saw temps of 120F+, I am amazed that I am alive, and free of medals for bravery.

Also, great pictures. But not truly baking hot.
posted by bloggerwench at 9:34 PM on October 1, 2012


Is there an equivalent of l'appel du vide for touching? Like a weird urge to just TOUCH the dangerous thing, even though you never really would, but the desire is just haunting and primal somehow? Because that is how I feel about all things lava. I just want to touch it! Except not really! But...deep down I do! These photos tap into that weird grab-happy part of the dark side of my brain.
posted by Charity Garfein at 9:48 PM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


To touch it, no, to shape it.
posted by Goofyy at 4:30 AM on October 2, 2012


People will be surfing there with GoPro cams all over their bodies soon enough.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:07 AM on October 2, 2012


Charity Garfein, I think you want the imp of the perverse. It's a bit broader than the French 'call of the void,' since it applies equally well to jumping off ledges, touching lava, or anything so obviously wrong that it's kind of compelling.
posted by echo target at 12:27 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


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