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Video: If a human falls into a lava lake this is what happens…

Screengrab from the video

A simulation of what would happen if a human being fell into a lava lake has gone viral on social media.

The video shared on Twitter demonstrates an experiment in which a 30-kg bundle of organic waste (which is similar to human physiology and will elicit the same response) into Erta Ale, an active volcano in Ethiopia, to simulate what happens if a human falls into it.

The video shows that the first layer of solidified ash that forms over the molten lava breaks and submerges the organic matter as it enters the lava lake. The lake then erupts with violent lava fountaining activity, owing to steam produced by organic matter.

Originally, a longer version of the same video was shared on YouTube by Photovolcanica. In the caption, the geothermal enthusiast wrote, “It is frequently discussed whether it is possible to sink in lava. Due to its high density, a person would generally be expected to remain on the surface. Indeed it is possible to briefly walk on certain types of lava if professional heat-protective clothing is worn (do not try yourself). However, the video shows that falling from a height, a large object and thus also a person would be able to penetrate the crust of the lake and submerge in it.”

It also explained that the experiment was carried out using a cardboard box filled with camp waste (such as discarded food remains) weighing 30 kilograms with dimensions 60x60x60cm. The object was thrown from a height of around 80 metres.