Camera Was Engulfed by Molten Lava – But Still Continued Recording

Photo by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash

Some cameras are sturdier than others and have the rare chance to visit extreme places and live to tell the tale. One such camera shot a mesmerizing video of hot lava approaching and engulfing it; although the photographer thought it was lost forever, even after being encased in liquid rock it refused to turn off and continued to transmit images and video to its owner.

Our lead guide, Erik, doing what he does best – finding the best flows in the active eruption areas of Kīlauea! Erik has been taking guests out to the flows safely and legally for years now, however the flow shown in this photo is one of his favorites. Erik describes it as "top 3 of all time" and he has seen A LOT of lava in his lifetime! Our guests have been treated to elevated eruption activity all week long, and we can get you there on our private lava hike – GO SEE THE FLOW WITH A PRO – [email protected] www.kilaueaecoguides.com #kilauea #kalapana #hawaii #bigisland #halemaumau #kilaueaiki #kamokuna #jaggarmuseum #volcanovillage #hilo #kona #volcanohouse #ironmanhawaii #ironman2017 #ironman #lavaman #gowiththeflow #hikehawaii #lethawaiihappen #hawaiioutdoors #instahawaii #hawaiistagram #hnnsunrise #hawaiianairlines #adventure #nature #hawaiitour #gooutside #hiking #kilaueaecoguides

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The unique shots of the lava up close were made by Erik Storm, tour operator and lead guide at Kilauea EcoGuides, who routinely leads tourists in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. The camera in question — GoPro, was placed into a crack to film lava flows, and he didn’t succeed in removing it before it being torched by the hot lava flames and engulfed by the molten rock.

Today we honor a GoPro that recorded its last flow yesterday… Our lead guide, Erik, left one of his GoPros to record a pāhoehoe flow and while not paying attention the flow advanced quicker then he anticipated. As you can see the camera was covered with molten lava and caught on fire. You won't believe this part – the GoPro STILL WORKS! Erik is working on getting the SD card out and will post the footage later! How many of you have seen Erik put his GoPro a little too close to the flowing lava?!? #kilauea #hawaii #bigisland #volcano #kalapana #explorehawaii #hawaiioutdoors #hikehawaii #IG_hawaii #lethawaiihappen #findyourpark #hvnp100 #halemaumau #jaggarmuseum #thurstonlavatube #kalapanalavaflow #instahawaii #hawaiistagram #gopro #goprohawaii #hnnsunrise #kilaueaecoguides

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After some time when the lava had cooled out he was able to get it out using a geology rock hammer and was surprised to notice that the camera’s wifi indicator was still blinking. The plastic body of the camera was melted and the lens was slightly damaged but the memory card footage remained intact, and revealing in mesmerizing slow motion how the lava engulfs the camera.

This is the video you have been waiting for – Eriks GoPro hit by lava and survives! Watch as the camera first catches on fire from the radiant heat before the lava even hits it! Then as the screen fades to black the camera becomes covered with molten lava. The frame then begins to shake which is Erik using a hammer to get the camera out of the lava. Finally you see him flip it over not knowing it was still rolling, laughing and telling his guests to take a photo of it. AMAZING! We have sent this footage to GoPro and we ask for you help in getting it featured – contact GoPro and tell them you saw this video. Or tag @gopro on this post, MAHALO! #kilauea #hawaii #bigisland #kalapana #hvnp100 #findyourpark #IGhawaii #hawaiioutdoors #explorehawaii #venturehawaii #hikehawaii #hiddenhawaii #goprohawaii #gopro #beahero #hero3 #instahwaii #hawaiistagram #hilo #kona #maui #honolulu #kauai #hnnsunrise #motlenlava #pahoehoe #kilaueaecoguides

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Storm says the camera even still works although the quality of the shots made with it is considerably worse compared to before the incident.