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Nov-15-2010 13:45printcommentsVideo

Machismo or Madness? Magma Freaks Descend into Erupting Volcano

Magma men and the gates of hell...

Amazing scene from the accompanying video

(CHICAGO) - What do you do for entertainment? Kick back and watch a favorite movie? Drop in on a hot new dance club? Read a good book?

How boring! Instead of following the crowd, why not do something really entertaining—like rappelling into the steaming caldera of an erupting volcano? Too hot to handle? Not for these guys…

Forget the storm chasers who run after killer tornadoes...compared to the volcano freaks the weak-kneed tornado tumblers are what Arnold Schwarzenegger once termed "girly men."

Volcano vaulters are crazy, to be sure, but come on folks, you've got to admire anyone that can make skydivers, mountain climbers and deep sea divers look like mundane Walter Mittys.

Magma men and the gates of hell

Boiling lava beckons them like mindless moths to a naked flame. An incredible video records it all as the daredevil magma men face almost certain death staring down the angry volcano god that dwells within the bowels of the Marum Volcano in Vanuatu near Australia.

The air reeks with poisonous fumes and the heat is so intense it can fry bacon in seconds and melt automobiles in minutes.

As you watch one of the guys—wrapped inside a silvery heat-proof suit—he steps over the edge and rappels calmly down singed climbing ropes. Onwards he goes, descending steadily towards the furiously boiling, exploding lava lake.

Haven't these guys ever seen what happened to that wretched victim in "Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom?"

Probably not. But even if they've seen the movie they don't seem to care a wit. It's downwards into fiery destruction towards a ledge more than 1,500 feet below where they can pitch a tiny tent nearer the warmth of liquefied rock.

A tent.

The action is real…the danger intense…the guys, well, quite frankly they're nuts.

All of this was filmed by vulcanologist Geoff Mackley on Ambrym Island in the South Pacific. The scientist admitted that the volcano could explode at any time and incinerate them all like insects crisped by a bug-zapper. He shrugs and a smile flits across his face. Sure the Marum volcano violently erupted just a couple years earlier, but that only adds to the fun, right?

The active volcano is classified as highly dangerous. The team stands at the rim of the crater watching the volcano belch poisonous gas clouds into the sky. Reports from volcano watchers confirm that Marum often shoots plumes of super-heated volcanic ash a mile high.

Mackley's website boasts that "Nothing else in life will ever compare to the mind-blowing rush of being so close to a spectacle like this."

Some may argue that a successful date, a romantic fireside chat over a good bottle of wine, and a willing partner is vastly more exciting than "the mind-blowing rush" of knowing that one misstep will result in vaporization and your ashes being belched into the stratosphere.

But then those that would argue that aren't a vulcanologist.

Originally published by Helium.com, to view the original story which has additional photo and information links, visit this link

Terrence Aym is a Salem-News.com Contributor based in Chicago, who is well known nationally for his stirring reports on the top ranked site, helium.com. Born in Minnesota, Terrence Aym grew up in the Chicagoland suburbs. Having traveled to 40 of the 50 states and lived in 7 of them, Aym is no stranger to travel. He's also spent time in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and Western Africa. An executive for many years with Wall Street broker-dealer firms, Aym has also had a life-long interest in science, technology, the arts, philosophy and history. If it's still possible to be a 'Renaissance man' in the 21st Century, Aym is working hard to be one.

Aym has several book projects in the works. Media sites that have recently featured Aym, and/or discussed his articles, include ABC News, TIME Magazine, Business Insider, Crunchgear.com, Discover, Dvice, Benzinga and more recently, his work has been showing up in South Africa and Russia.

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