Volcanoes are the portal to the earth’s fiery magma heart; one might imagine that life above ground would avoid living nearby. But a surprising number of animals survive and thrive alongside them. Right now, in any 24-hour period, some 30 volcanoes are erupting on our planet.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, climb up the cone of Nyiragongo, one of the world’s least studied volcanoes. Join volcanologists as they descend into its crater, down toward its bubbling and seething lava lake, to try to discover when it will erupt next.
In Tampa, Florida, in February 2013, a giant hole opened up under the bedroom floor of Jeffrey Bush, swallowing the 36-year-old as he slept. His body was never found. Bush was a victim of a sinkhole – a growing worldwide hazard that lurks wherever limestone and other water-soluble rocks underpin the soil.
James Kauahikaua has witnessed some of the planet’s most awe-inspiring spectacles as a geophysicist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Hawai‘i Island. While his research frequently leads him dangerously close to molten hot magma, a dire cancer diagnosis may have been his most humbling encounter yet.