The Floor is Lava

The Floor is Lava

BY : Rhiannon Nevinczenko

It's a common movie trope - somehow, a catastrophe has introduced lava to our protagonist(s)' environment, making their scenario even more perilous. And then, somehow - giant eagles, maybe - our heroes pull through, and everything resolves.
But how realistic is this? Could a human being really survive being that close to lava?
Molten lava temperatures range from 1,300 to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Despite how extreme those temperatures are, volcanologists can and do get very close to lava to study it and even collect samples. However, they are extremely careful about the type of lava, speed, temperature, what they are wearing, risk of gaseous fumes, and other important factors. Movie situations tend to be very different (e.g., in a relatively enclosed space, on an island, surrounded by fast-moving lava). If the floor were indeed lava, as in the famous childhood game, the fumes and extreme ambient temperature from the lava would quickly become a problem!
Photo by Björn Austmar Þórsson; Pexels license.

Leave a comment