The lava is searing hot, it glows brilliant orange, and anything that comes into contact with it may be devoured.
So, what would happen if you came into direct contact with it?
Kilauea’s lava is over 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit (about 1,170 degrees Celsius). “It’s far hotter than anything you’d find in your kitchen,” says Erik Klemetti, an instructor at Denison University.
Hand into molten rock will not instantly kill you, but it will cause severe and painful burns that may take weeks or months to heal.
Lava is a very viscous material, meaning it doesn’t flow very quickly. If you were to fall into the lava flow, the best-case scenario would be that you would become buried in the hot rock and quickly die from the heat.
However, it’s more likely that you would be stuck in the thick river of lava as you burned.
That’s why most people who fall into a volcano die from drowning, which is usually preceded by severe third-degree burns and suffocation.
The cloud of volcanic ash that erupts with lava also can cause breathing problems and even death.
What happens if you step into lava?
If you fall into the lava, your body will instantly be covered in third-degree burns.
The heat is so intense it will cause you to burst into flames within seconds, much like when an alcohol-soaked cotton ball is lit on fire.
You wouldn’t die right away though. Instead, you would become trapped in the molten rock, slowly burning to death.
The lava is so thick, it would be difficult for you to escape even if you were still alive.
Has anyone fallen into a volcano?
In 1981, a man fell into the lava flow at Mount St. Helens. He was trying to take a video of the eruption and slipped on the wet rock. His body was never recovered.
In 2007, a scientist studying Kilauea’s lava falls fell into the volcano and died.
So, what are the chances you are surviving if you fall into a volcano? Slim to none.
The best you can hope for is to be quickly covered in hot rock and die from the heat. The worst-case scenario is to be stuck in the lava flow as you burn to death.
It’s no surprise that most people who fall into volcanoes die from drowning or suffocation.
If you fell into a volcano would you die instantly?
No, you would not die instantly if you fell into a volcano. However, you would be covered in severe burns and would likely drown or suffocate.
Most people who fall into volcanoes die from one of these two causes. Volcanic ash also can cause breathing problems and death.
So, it’s best to avoid falling into a volcano altogether.
Has anyone survived lava?
Yes! A few people have survived falling into volcanoes, but not lava.
In 1984, an 18-year old woman jumped into a volcano in the Philippines to try and save her sister after she had fallen in. She survived because of the steam that was blowing out at the time. However, her sister did die.
Another volcano jumper was a woman who jumped into the lava at Mount Etna in Italy. Luckily for her, she suffered no burns or injuries because she landed in the snow!
Also, in 1983, two men survived hiking through Hawaii’s Kilauea crater by moving quickly and taking cover behind blocks of hardened lava when they heard cracks.
They were caught in a “laze” cloud – a dangerous mix of gas and particles from the molten rock – but managed to make it out alive.
So, while it is not impossible to survive falling into a volcano, it is definitely not easy. The best thing you can do is try and put out the flames, stay calm, and find a way to safety.
How to survive if you fall into a volcano?
Despite it not being very likely to happen, here are some of the best methods of survival if you were, for some reason, to fall into a volcano.
If you are unfortunate enough to have molten rock raining down on you, the first thing that would happen is your skin would start bubbling.
When lava comes into contact with water it bursts into flames and boils rapidly before solidifying once more.
So, if you fall into a volcano, the best thing to do is to try and put out the flames as quickly as possible. This can be done by rolling on the ground or submerging yourself in water.
Once the flames are out, it’s important to keep your body as cool as possible. This can be done by drinking water and not moving around.
You should also try to find a way out of the lava flow as quickly as possible, but be careful: you don’t want to jump into the burning rock and start the whole thing over again!
Pahoehoe is a type of lava that can move fairly quickly – it’s not like quicksand – but the more viscous aa lava is much slower.
If you happen to be near an eruption with flowing lava, do not walk on it!
The rock can look solid but actually be molten underneath and may cause it to collapse under your weight. Also, if you see someone fall in remember: they will burst into flames so try and put the fire out before doing anything else.
Falling into a volcano is not something that happens often, but when it does the results are usually fatal. The best thing you can do to avoid this fate is to be aware of your surroundings and stay away from active volcanoes.
If you are unlucky enough to fall in, try to put out the flames and then get to safety while avoiding the molten rock.
If you fall into a volcano the best thing to do is to try and put out the flames as quickly as possible, while keeping your body cool. Then look for a way out of the flow of lava.
Falling into a volcano is not something that happens often but when it does, death (by drowning or suffocation) is usually the result.
So, stay away from active volcanoes and be aware of your surroundings!