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UNREAL: Scientists Explore Active Volcano Nyiragongo

10 Apr

From National Geographic comes these incredible pictures of scientists exploring the Congolese volcano of Nyiragongo. Italian geologist Dario Tedesco and other members of an international team believe this volcano could devastate the nearby town of Goma where more than 1 million people live. Nyriagongo is one of the world’s most active volcanos, but also one of the least understood. Constant fighting in the DRC has made research difficult.

Twice before, the volcano has erupted and killed people in Goma. In 1977, several hundred people were killed when molten rock hurtled toward the city at more than 60 mph. Then, in 2002, 47 more people died during a similar eruption. Scientists believe those eruptions are nothing compared to what the mountain could actually do.

So, they’re studying it. Putting themselves right in the middle of an active volcano, hoping to study the volcano and ultimately save lives. Nyiragongo actually has one of the largest lava lakes in the world at 700 feet across and miles deep. From the article:

But he kept going. He peeked over the top, eye to eye with the boiling lava. This was beyond science. This was personal, the culmination of a lifetime of exploration and adventure and tireless curiosity. Over the radio the emotion in his voice was palpable. “Amazing. Incredible. I’ll never see anything like this again.”

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