MeFi in Randall Munroe's What If? December 19, 2014 7:00 AM   Subscribe


Oh cool. What a crazy question, and like Randall, falling into the rabbit hole of watching all those lava videos is way too easy. The lava kayaking one is nuts (no, they're not kayaking a river of lava but it's still nuts).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:09 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


To help others: It's in the alt-text that appears if you click on the superscript "3."
posted by jaguar at 7:16 AM on December 19, 2014 [9 favorites]


I liked the reverse rickroll at the end.
posted by 724A at 7:47 AM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


The final video really should start a new genre, household objects and new consumer goods put in the way of a lava flow just to see what happens. Like "will it blend", but with inexorably approaching lava.
posted by metaBugs at 7:52 AM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


I shot a pretty spectacular lava lake video at the top of Erta Ale in Ethiopia this October.
posted by gman at 8:08 AM on December 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


The YouTube channel lavapix also has two coke cans being overrun by lava and an energy drink can.
posted by dobi at 8:40 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Mandatory lava film shout-out: Techniques for filming lava were developed, with an incredible number of lava videos filmed, by the French volcanologist couple Katia and Maurice Krafft.

Tragically, they lost their lives pursuing their science when a pyroclastic flow went in an unexpected direction while they filming on Mt. Unzen in Japan.
posted by barchan at 9:03 AM on December 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


no, they're not kayaking a river of lava

dangit.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:35 AM on December 19, 2014


(MeFi's Own Randall Munroe)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:52 AM on December 19, 2014


The final video really should start a new genre

The one with the full can of ravioli is much more entertaining.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:56 AM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


More Hawaiian: Spam.
posted by maryr at 10:02 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


What happens to places that get run over by lava? After it cools, do they clear it with bulldozers? Or is it left in place as new geology?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 10:03 AM on December 19, 2014


BuddhaInABucket: What happens to places that get run over by lava? After it cools, do they clear it with bulldozers? Or is it left in place as new geology?

I've actually been to a place like that - Goma in the Congo. It destroyed a lot and they pretty much left it as is. Here's a photo I took.
posted by gman at 10:08 AM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Well now I feel like I need to replace all my windows with sapphire windows just in case.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:16 AM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Then you realize your walls really aren't up to snuff, and you end arguing with your architect about the practicality of building your own fortress of solitude in suburbia.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:23 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


What happens to places that get run over by lava? After it cools, do they clear it with bulldozers?

At least in Hawai'i, it becomes part of the new ground. So say goodbye to your neigborhood, unless you're quick enough to take some of it with you ahead of the flow.
posted by psoas at 10:49 AM on December 19, 2014


I also came in to post some Big Island pics... search Google Images for "chain of craters road" in Hawaii, it's pretty remarkable (e.g. 1, 2).
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 10:57 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]




Well, that's pretty cool.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:19 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Well, that's pretty cool.

Only at the end of class; don't touch it yet!
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:18 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Turn on your love lava
posted by Wolfdog at 3:18 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


I also came in to post some Big Island pics... search Google Images for "chain of craters road" in Hawaii, it's pretty remarkable.

Yep, one of the coolest parts of visiting the Big Island earlier this year was getting to walk on land younger than I am.
posted by skycrashesdown at 3:46 PM on December 19, 2014


Next question: what would it be like to ride the tube, the subway or the bus if you had actual lava balls?
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:49 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Good comment. I would add that there actually is a lot of scholarly study about children's folklore, and that Simon Bronner is the preeminent scholar. It just doesn't trickle over into the popular press quite as much as the Opies and Brunvand did (not unintentionally).
posted by Miko at 6:12 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thanks for those links, Miko.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:05 PM on December 19, 2014


My future's so bright, I have to wear sapphire shades....
posted by Deoridhe at 8:43 PM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Three cheers for Ivan. Ivan was one of the first people (in a previous incarnation) who I could recognize before reading his byline and the high-turnover world in general where familiar faces come and go, and this niche in specific felt a little more tolerable when he came back to MeFi.

At the time he was one of the most prolific word-count folks that got largely positive feedback for his prolific comments, so the probability of correct identification increased with each line of text, but I vaguely recall a few others that didn't stand the test of time. I've always enjoyed what this thoughtful person has to say and how they come about saying it, often with reference to life experience without contorting the subject to center around their specific experiences.
posted by aydeejones at 8:52 PM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


I always thought it curious that only 7 days elapsed between this comment of mine and this XKCD Strip...
posted by hwyengr at 9:45 PM on December 19, 2014


Does Randall Munroe read the comments down here?
posted by double block and bleed at 11:02 AM on December 20, 2014


Lava is so... cool.
posted by Splunge at 12:51 PM on December 20, 2014


> The YouTube channel lavapix also has two coke cans being overrun by lava and an energy drink can .

And now you've got me wondering whether it's still littering if the junk food container is literally crushed and dissolved into molten rock.
posted by ardgedee at 1:35 PM on December 20, 2014


What would happen if lava overran a nuclear reactor? Like, if it was a very rapid/large flow, would it effectively contain most of the radiation, or would it not be enough to do so? I've always wondered.
posted by emjaybee at 9:52 AM on December 25, 2014


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