Join 3,416 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Video of underwater volcano
March 19, 2009 8:55 AM   Subscribe

Cool video of an undersea volcano erupting off Tonga. Spectacular clouds began spewing out of the sea on Monday about 10km from the southwest coast off the main island of Tongatapu, where up to 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered. More on these volcanism blogs.
posted by CunningLinguist (39 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
What the hell is wrong with me? I read this, "Cool video of an undersea volcano erupting off Topanga."
posted by Senator at 8:59 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love the word "volcanism." Je suis volcaniste!
posted by digaman at 9:02 AM on March 19, 2009


They appear to be pretty close- weren't they scared? I would freak out.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:02 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


That is really cool. I thought it was going to be a video filmed underwater, but this was equally as impressive.
posted by Science! at 9:06 AM on March 19, 2009


Excellent. Wonder if there is a stone sea in the vicinity...
posted by googly at 9:09 AM on March 19, 2009


From the big picture
posted by jourman2 at 9:18 AM on March 19, 2009


Bobby Jindal does not approve.
posted by stargell at 9:36 AM on March 19, 2009 [17 favorites]


Wow. That was fucking cool.
So how deep is the sea there? Are there any islands in the offing?
posted by dunkadunc at 9:45 AM on March 19, 2009


Thanks for the pics, jourman2.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:47 AM on March 19, 2009


I love this Earth.
posted by salishsea at 9:53 AM on March 19, 2009


From the Big Pic: ...sending plumes of steam and smoke hundreds of meters into the air.

I'm not an expert on photoreconstruction, but my quick calculations based "hundreds" being at least 200 and the head of the guy in the photo puts the photographer less then a kilometer away from the explosion. Yikes.
posted by DU at 9:54 AM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I haven't gotten that "whoa, too close!" vibe from a video since I saw this.
posted by waxboy at 9:57 AM on March 19, 2009


jourman2 - that's awesome! The Big Picture always rocks.

My first reaction was to wish I could be on that boat.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:15 AM on March 19, 2009


Smoke ? SMOKE? That's more like a pyroclastic cloud made of extremely hot air and collapsing debries, that's an instant killer even if it may have been slightly cooled by the surrounding water. Less sex and the city, more NG channel !
posted by elpapacito at 10:19 AM on March 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


I only showed up to make a Jindal joke but stargell beat me to it.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:30 AM on March 19, 2009


That's pretty amazing. I would love to see a follow up video of the underwater aftermath.
posted by pyngthyngs at 10:35 AM on March 19, 2009


"Cool video of an undersea volcano erupting off Topanga."

Surf's up!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:46 AM on March 19, 2009


Someone post when the Weekly World News photoshops satan's face into these pictures.
posted by GuyZero at 11:14 AM on March 19, 2009


Whatever Neptune, you can get pissy all you want, but you can't marry my daughter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 AM on March 19, 2009


Smoke ? SMOKE? That's more like a pyroclastic cloud made of extremely hot air and collapsing debries, that's an instant killer even if it may have been slightly cooled by the surrounding water.

The passengers (and, more importantly, the crew) on the boat in the Guardian video came quite close to winning a Darwin Award.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:40 AM on March 19, 2009


It looks like giant fir trees!
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 12:00 PM on March 19, 2009


Uh oh.

There was just a new earthquake in the Tonga area and a tsunami alert was just issued.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:02 PM on March 19, 2009


7.9, AFP reports
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:02 PM on March 19, 2009


This type of oceanic activity typically precedes the appearance of Godzilla. Tokyo should evacuate.
posted by Mountain Goatse at 12:29 PM on March 19, 2009


And now a tsunami warning.
posted by 445supermag at 12:29 PM on March 19, 2009


BBC audio of interview about the quake
posted by 445supermag at 12:34 PM on March 19, 2009


Oh Planet Earth, you are amazing.
posted by clearly at 12:35 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Clearly the Tonga Room's impeding closure--part of the ongoing nofunification of San Francisco--has angered the undersea gods.

Google map of Tonga and the surrounding ocean floor.
(Google has maps of the ocean floor? What an age we live in.)
posted by kirkaracha at 1:28 PM on March 19, 2009


I don't know where ah'm a-gonna go when the vol-can-o blows.
posted by localroger at 2:31 PM on March 19, 2009


We really do live in a kick-ass universe.
posted by brundlefly at 2:46 PM on March 19, 2009


I was wondering about the pyroclastic aspect of this towering cloud as well; however, one would have to assume that the majority of this plume is actually steam. Judging from it's white fluffiness I would say that this is indeed the case. The gasses would be released almost immiediately upon reaching the surface as there is a limited amount of ash and tephra being tossed up into the sky. The bigger concern would be the carbon dioxide which, being heavier than air, would simply gather on the surface of the water trapped under that giant steam cloud and quickly spread out to engulf nearby area, eg.g the dumb people in the boat. Suffice it to say that they seem more likely to die by suffocation than by a smoldering hot cloud of ickiness (which I'm pretty sure is the technical term).
posted by Geekyblonde at 4:08 PM on March 19, 2009


"I love this Earth."

Yeah, it's like it's a geomorphological guitar solo.

Wasn't the biggest eruption in Antarctica in the last 10,000 years last year?
posted by Smedleyman at 4:55 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Amazing - but if it were me taking that video - it would have been from a retreating boat. I also llove how this has a whole different texture from abovewater volcanic clouds.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:56 PM on March 19, 2009


my god. did it remind anyone else of this?????
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:57 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


ack. reminded me of this. underwater volcanos are REALLY cool, though. would love to see underwater footage of this, but i'm sure it's really hard to get close enough to actually get a decent shot and not be dead. you'd have to be within 100 feet at the absolute maximum from what you're shooting underwater, probably less, to see anything.
posted by snofoam at 5:37 PM on March 19, 2009


Je suis volcaniste!
Moi aussi!
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:42 PM on March 19, 2009


Very very cool. I would love to see something like that in person, preferably from a safe-but-not-too-safe distance. I've seen volcanoes puffing out steam, and a really lame lava flow, but a proper eruption would be awesome - in the original literal sense.

That Google map of the ocean floor had lots of isolated blips in the otherwise fairly flat region between Tonga and Hawaii. Are those baby volcanoes, sonar artifacts, or what? Je ne suis pas volcaniste, malheureusement.
posted by Quietgal at 7:17 PM on March 19, 2009


When will ever stop using the adjective "cool"? An utterly meaningless shorthand for "I can't think of an fitting adjective, so I'll cop out just like everyone else"

When I was at school there was a total ban on the word "nice" in English Lang. Cool has become the new nice.

The Earth splits open, the ocean boils and, and new land masses are born, and all we can say is "cool"?
posted by marvin at 8:50 PM on March 19, 2009


Yep. Cool.
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:39 PM on March 19, 2009


« Older The Top 100 Wedding Blogs (and Twitters) to follow...  |  The sales of a book by Madame ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments