Kiwi descends into live Vanuatu volcano crater to help capture images for Google Street View

Google Street View has captured images from inside the crater of a live volcano in Vanuatu with the help of Kiwi volcano enthusiast Matt Davison.

Davison, who works for Google in Auckland, pitched the project to Google Street View, and was one of the people to descend into the crater of Mt Marum to get images.

The expedition team travelled to Ambrym, a volcanic island with two active volcanic cones - Benbow and Marum.

The team managed to capture shots of the inside of the volcano crater on Mt Marum. Photo/Google
The team managed to capture shots of the inside of the volcano crater on Mt Marum. Photo/Google

To get inside the active volcano, Google partnered with explorers Geoff Mackley and Chris Horsly, who repelled 400m into the Marum crater with a Street View Trekker collecting 360-degree imagery of the journey down to the molten lava lake, which is roughly the size of two football fields.

"You only realise how insignificant humans are when you're standing next to a giant lake of fiery boiling rock. It's like looking into the surface of the sun," said Mackley.

"Standing at the edge and feeling the heat lick your skin is phenomenal," Horsly said after returning from his descent into the crater.

"I hope that by putting this place on the map people will realise what a beautiful world we live in."

Ambrym is defined by the desolate 39 sq m volcanic caldera hosting Benbow and Marum, but the tropical island is also home to more than 7000 people who live in the rainforest down the mountain.

The expedition team headed down into the crater of Mt Marum, on the island of Ambrym. Photo/Google
The expedition team headed down into the crater of Mt Marum, on the island of Ambrym. Photo/Google

Chief Moses in the local village of Endu explains, "We believe that the volcanoes Marum and Benbow are devils. If you go up to a volcano you have to be very careful because the two volcanoes could get angry at any time. We believe that Benbo is the husband and Marum is the wife. Sometimes when they don't agree there's an eruption which means the spirit is angry so we sacrifice a pig or fawel to the volcano."

- NZ Herald

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