Volcano Melt Your Drone? Totally Worth It!

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In October 2017, nature photographer Erez Marom spent two weeks shooting landscapes in Hawaii. His first stop was the Big Island, where he and a friend shot the lava flows of Kilauea volcano. They hiked about 8 kilometers (about five miles) to reach the red-hot lava, which fortunately was flowing outside the boundary of the national park.

So, what do you do when you can't cross on foot over a boundary that's blocking your path to beauty...? Drone! Erez unpacked his $1,500 DJI Phantom 4 camera and swooped down as close as he'd dare over the lava capturing stunning images like these.

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The images are stunning, but there's a real hot-button issue here, bad pun fully intended. If something is off limits by land, doesn't that mean it's off limits for air too? Is it off limits because it's dangerous or because it's government land? Either way, it's dangerous. Because the lava was so hot that it melted his camera! 

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Can you even imagine how hot it must've been? His camera melted -- and it was mounted on a drone. All I can think of is the hiker who fell into a hot spring in Yosemite and disintegrated in less than 24 hours. There's a reason scientists are always wearing that shiny metal TV dinner outfit when they examine lava because they want to bake evenly. 

Erez said this in his own words about the experience: 

An hour into our visit, new lava rivers simply burst straight out of the mountain side, and flowed, diverging and converging, down the slopes. We were truly mesmerized by the unusual display, and spent in all about 3 hours shooting at daytime, sunset and twilight.
At some point, I was noticing the right side of the drone images was getting darker. I continued shooting but when I went back to the apartment, I was surprised to see the plastic inside the drone camera had melted when I was shooting close to the lava! It was worth it, though!
Source: BORED PANDA & all images by EREZ MAROM