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Experience Breathtaking Volcano, Boiling Lava Lake in Ambrym via Google Street View

Mar 16, 2017 06:52 AM EDT
Explore the deadly but beautiful molten lava lake in Vanuatu through Google Maps.
(Photo : Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

Daredevils don't have monopoly over breathtaking adventures anymore -- even armchair travelers can enjoy. Traveling in Google Maps via Street View can now take web-surfers to one of the largest boiling lava lakes in the entire world, located on the island of Ambrym in Vanauatu off the coast of Australia.

To make the experience more realistic and more visual, Google enlisted the help of explorers Geoff Mackley and Chris Horsley, according to an official Google blog post about the project. The pair repelled 400 meters into the crater of the active volcano Marum with a Street View Trekker, so they could get 360-degree imagery of the entire trip down to the massive boiling lava lake in Ambrym. The lake is about the size of two football fields.

"Standing at the edge and feeling the heat lick your skin is phenomenal," Horsley described his experience from deep inside the crater. "I hope that by putting this place on the map people will realize what a beautiful world we live in."

"You only realize how insignificant humans are when you're standing next to a giant lake of fiery boiling rock," Mackley agreed.

There are two active volcano cones in Ambrym, Benbow and Marum. However, this hasn't deterred people from living here as there are over 7,000 who call the rainforest below the mountain home. Those who are curious about the life of people in Ambrym can take a walk through the village of Endu in Google Maps.

Chief Moses of Endu said that Cyclone Pam devastated the country a few years ago, but now, they are ready to welcome travelers once again to Vanuatu. Part of this is making the archipelago accessible and more familiar to tourists through channels like Google Maps -- a valuable tool that can help Ambrym recover and preserve its culture.

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