Incredible video shows active volcano’s lava lake in all its glory

June 6, 2016 | by | 0 Comments

These incredible images show a spectacular active volcano with a bubbling lava cone which resembles eerie Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings.


Tourists have been flocking to the breathtaking spectacle as spewing lava lights up the night sky.

The bright orange glow from the molten lava looks like the fictional volcano in the Lord of the Rings trilogy where hobbit Frodo has to destroy the One Ring.

(Martin Rietze / SWNS)

(Martin Rietze / SWNS)

The phenomena are known as lava lakes and occur when molten lava collects in a volcano‘s crater – which can reach temperatures hotter than 1000°C.

They are incredibly rare and only very few volcanoes have continuous ones.

Most, like the one pictured, occur for a few weeks or months before the molten rock cools.

Professional volcanic photographer Martin Rietze, 51, was lucky enough to see one first hand when he visited the Masaya volcano in Nicaragua in April.

(Tanguy de Saint Cyr / SWNS)

(Tanguy de Saint Cyr / SWNS)

He said: “Lava lakes are a rare phenomenon on Earth. There are only a few worldwide.

“Having one in easily reachable terrain is really special. In addition Masaya’s lava lake is not permanent.

“It started forming slowly last December. It was completely hidden beneath the crater floor and only visible in the form of faint glowing for many years.

“It is pretty sure that it will vanish again in the future, maybe in a few months. So if you wants to see it you have to be fast.

“Due to risks this lava lake is closed for public most of the time, so there are not too many photographic documentations in really high quality and especially from many different perspectives available.

“The photographs show the behaviour and physics of an open volcanic system with a permanent magma supply.

“It is one of the very few chances to come into contact with inner earth.

“It shows very liquid lava, hotter than 1000°C , giving off gas, boiling violently and producing spectacular bursting liquid rock lava bubbles.”

Martin is a German photographer based near Munich and has been travelling the world observing active volcanoes for 20 years.

He obtained a special permit to photograph the volcano in April and spent days waiting to take the best pictures.

He said: “Even if the activity seems to be similar over many days, photographing it means waiting for perfect light and weather conditions.

“The steam cloud size depends on air humidity and so on. So it took nearly a full week to get all things and perspectives under the best conditions.”

And he admitted the mission was not without its risks.

(Martin Rietze / SWNS)

(Martin Rietze / SWNS)

He said: “Watching volcanoes is always associated with some risks. Suddenly unpredictable explosions can occur, volcanic gasses can endanger your breathing.

“But compared with other volcanic eruptions a lava lake like the one inside Masayas crater, especially when observed from a distance and at the crater rim it is pretty safe.”

Martin, who also work as an engineer, plans on visiting more volcanoes in the future including the Masaya to see how the lava lake develops.

The Lord of Rings is a series of adventure films based on the novel by J. R. R. Tolkien and Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park was used for filming.

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