Is it the video of awakening a volcano by throwing a rock?


Awakening a volcano by throwing a rock

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A video is shared recently by a Twitter account ‘Historic Veds’ which gained thousands of views. It is shared with a claim that the video is of awakening a volcano throwing a stone. Some of the other posts with such claims can be seen here and here. And this video is viral on YouTube with similar claim.

What is the truth?

When the key frames of the video are reverse searched, an article on ‘Erte Ale Volcano’ was found on ‘photovolcanica’ website. This website didn’t have the viral video but a picture from it matches the visuals of viral video.

With further search it is found that the viral video was published on ‘photovolcanica’ YouTube channel on 16, January 2012 with the title ‘Disposal of organic waste in Erta Ale Volcano lava lake causes violent eruption’. The description of the video says that the video is a simulation of what would happen if a person would fall into the lava lake by incinerating organic waste in Erta Ale Volcanoes lava lake. Organic waste is used considering the fact that a person is also one and that both contains water and would thus be expected to trigger similar response.

The video shows that falling from a height, a large object and thus also a person would be able to penetrate the crust of the lake and submerge in it. The test was performed with a box of camp waste (largely food rests) in a cardboard box. Estimated weight 30kg, Size 60x60x60cm. Fall height, about 80m. The lake reacts with violent lava fountaining activity, presumably in part due to steam produced from the organic matter.

A ‘Live Science’ article dated 27, June 2012 mentions that the above video was filmed by a Germany-based volcano researcher Richard Roscoe in 2002 in the lava lake of Ethiopia’s Erta Ale Volcano. The video was also linked in the article mentioning that the footage was recently posted on YouTube. The profile of Dr Richard Roscoe is mentioned on ‘photovolcanica’ website.

A ‘Daily Mail’ article dated 25, June 2012 explains the step by step reaction of what happens when human-sized bag falls into a volcano with the video screengrabs.


It is found that the video is not of awakening a volcano but a simulation video taken in 2002 to know what would happen if a person fall into a lava lake. And I t is not rock that was thrown into the lake but a cardboard box of organic waste.

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