The internet is awash with extreme videos, but footage of lava barreling toward and then melting the lens of a GoPro camera may be one of the hottest (literally) recordings online.
The fiery affair happened on Aug. 10, 2016, when Kilauea EcoGuides tours owner and lead guide Erik Storm took a group of tourists from San Francisco to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, according to National Geographic (opens in new tab). The video resurfaced this month after Erez Marom, an Israeli photographer, accidently melted a drone camera when he flew it too close to lava flows in Hawaii, renewing interest in flaming-hot lava footage.
Storm captured the recording when he showed the tour group a fast-moving lava flow in the park that day. Storm put his GoPro Hero4 Black camera into a crevice to capture a recording of the molten rock, but he made what he now calls "a $400 mistake" — he didn't pull out the camera in time, National Geographic reported. [50 Amazing Volcano Facts]
At least Storm has a good excuse for losing his GoPro to a molten blob. He was busy telling the tourists a story about Pele, the Polynesian fire goddess, he told National Geographic. After the scorching incident, he set to work retrieving the camera.
"I had a geologist rock hammer with me, and that is how I was able to get it out of the now cooling rock," Storm wrote on Storyful, a video site. "When I got home, I hammered all the hardened rock off of the camera and was amazed to see the blue Wi-Fi light still blinking!"
Amazingly, the camera could still turn on, although the lens had melted, rendering it unusable. "The SD [secure digital] card popped right out and the footage was intact," he told Storyful. "At the end of the video, you can see me with the rock hammer."
It's no wonder the lava melted Storm's camera. Crawling, dark-red lava on Hawaii can reach temperatures of 895 degrees Fahrenheit (479 degrees Celsius), according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Live Science previously reported.
Bright-red lava flows are even hotter, reaching upward of 1,165 degrees F (629 degrees C), and glowing, orange lava indicates the molten rock is a steaming 1,600 degrees F (871 degrees C) or so, Live Science reported.
Despite the great footage, Storm doesn't recommend that other people mess with lava: Many native Hawaiians consider lava to be sacred.
"No one should ever poke the lava with anything, cook with the lava or throw anything into or in front of the flowing lava to 'see what happens,'" Storm told Storyful. "I respect the place where I work to the fullest and work hard to make sure people understand that this is a very sacred place that commands respect."
Original article on Live Science.