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Watch a Volcano Erupt Right as 2 Scientists Begin Their Descent!

If you thought watching Anakin Skywalker burn up on Mustafar was nasty, it’s nothing compared to what really happens when something—or someone—falls into an active volcano. But that gruesome danger doesn’t deter fearless researchers from braving these dangerous landforms to collect magma and study changes at the planet’s core. That said, as this incredible footage, which is equal parts gorgeous and horrifying, shows: even the bravest, most experienced experts would be wise not to descend during an actual eruption.

In this clip from Darren Aronofsky‘s National Geographic docu-series One Strange Rock, narrated by Will Smith, scientists Ken Sims and Aldo Kane prepare to enter the mouth of Mount Nyiragongo located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The pair is visiting what is described as “one of the world’s largest and most volatile lava lakes” with a mission of collecting a sample of magma, which would be daunting enough under the best of circumstances since the lava is roughly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. But as they begin their descent, a new vent in the volcano opens up, turning this already harrowing venture into “mission impossible.”

I’m no scientist, but I believe the formal, official term to describe what happened here is “Holy ****!” It really makes you appreciate what Sam and Frodo did on Mordor, or just how dangerous Obi-Wan and Anakin’s duel was. But all of those guys had magical powers, which is why they have nothing on these scientists.

How close would you be willing to get to an active volcano? Descend into our comments section below to tell us why.

Featured Image: National Geographic

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