Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dardevil diver playing with underwater lava

From TheDailyMail

This daredevil diver is working himself up into a right lava - by trying to mould red hot 1,000C molten rock with his own hands.
Bud 'the Lava Man' Turpin is pictured here descending 130ft to the lava tube of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, using nothing but a pair of welding gloves and a fishing hook to make 'molten moose heads'.

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But, despite risking instant death if a lava shelf breaks and falls on him, the would-be sculptor's sensational creations were destroyed almost instantly, before completion, by the constantly erupting volcano.

In order to pictorially preserve his natural 'art', the Lava Ocean Adventures co-founder brought along photographer Doug Perrine to chronicle his adventure.


Perrine, 59, said: 'Bud braced his legs against the lava tube, which still had hot flowing lava right under the crust. He grabbed the erupting nose of the lava flow with his gloved hands.
'Then he pulled and twisted it in different directions to try to mould his sculpture. At first sight, the brain does not want to accept that it is actually seeing somebody voluntarily grabbing hot lava.'

The angry Kilauea volcano has been constantly erupting since 1983 and has spewed out so much molten rock that it now covers 550 square miles on the south east coast of the Island of Hawaii.

 Water meets lava

In fact the name Kilauea means 'much spreading' in the local Hawaiian language.

Perrine added: 'There are several ways to die while doing this.
The most likely would be that a large section of unstable cooled lava shelf would break off while we were diving, and slide into deep water.
'This effect creates a suction that pulls any nearby divers down with it, and could easily take us to great depths while disorienting us - so we wouldn't know which way was up.
'We could also get buried in the rocks from the landslide, or hit by a large rock and knocked out, which would mean we would probably drown.'
Doug explained how Bud came up with the idea of risking his life to shape lava for the sake of art.
He said: 'Bud used to go fishing along the coast where lava is always entering the ocean. He was catching lots of fish down there and decided to try spear-fishing near the lava.'
'After seeing lava while diving got the idea of forming it while it is still soft. Most people think he's totally crazy - Bud does not disagree.'

Links :
  • SeaPics : Beyond extreme
  • USGS : Explosions at the edge of an active lava delta

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