Lakes of flowing, angry lava hidden in volcanoes are not as common as films like The Lord of the Rings and Shrek . To date, only seven persistent lava lakes have been known on Earth.
British satellite images have just confirmed the eighth in the crater of Mount Michael, an active volcano on Saunders Island, a British Overseas Territory (BOT) in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica, reports Gizmodo.
The existence of the lava lake was not exactly surprising; Researchers at the British Antarctic Survey and University College London have been suspicious for 30 years. In the 1
Mount Michaels lava lake is impressively frightening. Although not the largest in the world (this record is held by the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Mount Nyiragongo, whose lava lake is 820 feet in diameter), the diameter of this lake ranges from 295 to 705 feet, almost the length of two football fields corresponds. And it can get hot up to 2334 ° F – at that temperature, your cast-iron frying pan would melt into cast-iron soup.
It is also the first discovery on British territory. The others are in Ethiopia, Antarctica, Nicaragua, Hawaii, Vanuatu (two) and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
"We are pleased to have discovered such a remarkable geological feature in the British Overseas Territory." The author and geologist dr. Alex Burton-Johnson from the British Antarctic Survey said in a statement: "The identification of the lava lake has improved our understanding of volcanic activity and vulnerability on this remote island and tells us more about these rare features and finally it helped us with monitoring techniques of volcanoes from space. "
Learn more about monitoring volcanoes from space in this incredible photo of a volcanic eruption that was launched from space last week.