A photographer and explorer led by adventure enthusiast Sam Cossman not only become some of the few humans to ever descend into an active, boiling volcano in the South Pacific Ocean, they lived to upload a video online.
The video, dubbed “Diving Into an Active Volcano,” was first uploaded to Vimeo and then to YouTube this week, showing Cossman and George Kourounis descending into an area of the Mt. Marum volcano just above the rolling lava. Cossman, who explained on LinkedIn that he’s the vice president of a tourism promotion business, has previously uploaded videos of himself in encountering bull sharks and was joined on this trip by Kourounis, an experienced adventure documentarian.
Last month the pair traveled to the depths of the Martum crater, which is located on a volcanic island in the Malampa Province in the archipelago of Vanuatu. The volcanic island is populated by approximately 7,000 inhabitants and a massive 19,000 year-old lava pit first discovered by Captain James Cook in 1774.
The pair filmed themselves using a GoPro, Sony NX Cam and a Canon 5D Mark III camera. At one point they got so close, Korousnis said, that flying specks of lava melted part of their protective gear.
“Going down into the crater of Marum has been a dream of mine for many years,” Kourounis told the Huffington Post. “Getting to [Marum] was kind of like a reverse climbing of Everest. The volcano fought back at us, we had to deal with terrible weather, tremendous heat from the lava, descending and ascending 400 meters of near vertical, loose rock face, acid rain so strong that it could have come from a car battery, and a variety of other craziness.”