Ambrym, Vanuatu: Google takes Street View inside an active volcano

Google takes Street View inside an active volcano

Google Street View is giving users a unique opportunity to step inside a Vanuatu volcano, home to one of the largest boiling lava lakes in the world.

Google Street View is giving users a unique opportunity to step inside a Vanuatu volcano, home to one of the largest boiling lava lakes in the world.

You can join explorers Geoff Mackley and Chris Horsly, who climbed 400 metres inside the Marum crater to obtain shots of the molten lava lake.

Marum is an active volcanic cone on the 101-square-kilometre volcanic caldera alongside Benbow, it's second cone, on the small tropical island of Ambrym.

The explorers used a Google Street View Trekker to obtain 360-degree imagery of the lake, which is about the size of two football fields, so you don't have to make the dangerous trek yourself.

"You only realise how insignificant humans are when you're standing next to a giant lake of fiery boiling rock. It's like looking into the surface of the sun," Mackley said.

Around 7000 people live in Endu, the village at the base of the island's mountain, weathering the volcano's unpredictable nature.

The village's Chief Moses explains that his people believe the volcanos are husband-and-wife devils, that can get angry at any time.

"Sometimes when they don't agree there's an eruption which means the spirit is angry so we sacrifice a pig or fawel to the volcano," he said. Sounds reasonable.

Chief Moses hopes that the footage will inspire people to visit Vanuatu, which is an archipelago of 80 tiny islands brimming with lush green jungles, pristine black sand beaches – and active volcanoes.

He believes that making the islands more accessible to the world is a key step in the island's recovery and ability to establish a sustainable economy and preserve its culture in the wake of Cyclone Pam's devastation several years ago.

You can explore the volcano via Street View below.

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