If you can't stand the heat... keep away from the volcano: Astonishing picture of scientist just metres from boiling hot lava cauldron
He looks like he's on a journey to the centre of the Earth.
But unlike the professor in Jules Verne's novel of the same name, this scientist could meet a fiery end if he goes any further.
In these stunning pictures, fearless Geoff Mackley looks like a speck of tin foil next to the 1,150C molten pit raging inside the crater of a volcano.
Scroll down to watch the abseil...
Like the surface of the sun: Getting to within just 30m of the molten lava, Geoff Mackley has become the first person ever to get so close to the centre of this volcano
No sweat: Thanks to his protective heat-proof suit, Mr Mackley was able to stand next to raging lava for a staggering 45 minutes
Mr Mackley has become the first person ever to get so close to the heart of the Marum Volcano, on the island of Vanuatu, in the South Pacific.
At a distance of just 30 metres, one slip or a sudden surge of the bubbling lava and he would be instantly turned to ash.
But incredibly, wearing a protective heat-proof suit, Mr Mackley managed to stand there for a staggering 45 minutes in August this year.
The 46-year-old said: 'It looks like the surface of the sun, it's like all my wildest dreams in one moment, it's the most amazing thing I've ever seen or done.
'The most amazing thing I've ever done': Mr Mackley has been trying for 15 years to reach the bottom, but failed a number of times before now
Extraordinary career: Mr Mackley has been nicknamed 'Rambocam' after taking his childhood hobby of photographing natural phenomena to extreme lengths
Early inspiration: His father used to take Mr Mackley and his two younger brothers, Richard and Steven, on trips to take pictures of freak conditions, such as snowstorms and flooding
Fiery: Marum is situated on Ambrym, a volcanic island in the archipelago of Vanuatu, which is well-known for its high volcanic activity that includes lava lake formation
Adrenalin-junkie: The New Zealand-based photographer, cameraman and reporter carts his £50,000 equipment virtually anywhere where a natural disaster occurs
Patience is a virtue: Mr Mackley and his team camped at the summit of the volcano for 38 days with it raining heavily for 33 of them as they waited for right moment to descend into the crater
The New Zealand-based photographer, cameraman and reporter, carts his £50,000 equipment virtually anywhere where a tsunami has struck, a cyclone is perilously hovering or a volcano is erupting.
His father used to take Geoff and his two younger brothers, Richard and Steven on trips to take pictures of freak conditions, such as snowstorms and flooding.
'We were brought up with an interest in nature. I started doing what I'm doing because I'm interested in nature and it evolved to what's happening now. I never really expected that to happen. I never thought for a moment I'd be doing this.'
Surveying the landscape: The 46-year-old has developed a reputation worldwide for being prepared to go where others fear to tread
Loving his job: Mr Mackley says he lives for each day and intends to carry on exploring for as long as he can
Photo op: Mr Mackley said he was brought up with an interest in nature, but never expected to be going on adventures like this
Sunday, September 30, 2012
If You Can't Stand The Heat... Keep Away
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