You might have seen some spectacular video footage recently of the latest volcanic eruption in Iceland. A new fissure opened up this month not far from the Mount Fagradalsfjall volcano that spent six months erupting in 2021. Professional photographers and drone operators have flocked to capture the event, but of course, mass tourism wasn’t far behind them.
Any active volcano is a dangerous place, and having swarms of visitors, many of whom are not with guides, something was eventually going to go wrong. Professional drone pilot Isak Finnbogason spotted two witless tourists getting far too close while capturing his daily FPV drone footage.
“What are they thinking?” Isak asks in the video. “They are way way way too close,” he continues. The couple was standing right up against the new craters, and actually standing on new lava that had only just formed a crust.
” I could not believe my eyes,” says Isak, adding “I have not seen anything as wreckless as this here in Iceland.”
The couple appeared to be just hanging out next to the lava, presumably taking photos and videos for their social media feeds. Isak was too far away to be able to shout to alert them of the danger they were in. Instead, he used his drone to fly close to them and alert them that they were not in a good place.
Commenters on Isak’s YouTube channel have pointed out that the rock that they were walking on was likely still liquid inside, under just a very thin crust. It could have collapsed at any moment. Walking this close without protective clothing not exposes you to the risk of collapse of the crust, but also noxious gases and flying molten rocks. Not a fun way to die.
Fortunately, by the end of the video, we see the pair being shepherded by Isak’s drone, walking back to safer ground, apparently unharmed. Emergency services in Iceland have already said that they won’t risk the lives of their personnel by attempting to rescue anyone foolish enough to walk out onto the lava, although Isak says in the video that they probably would have attempted a rescue if necessary. This couple was taking unprecedented risks.
If you are tempted to visit the erupting volcano in Iceland, then please do some research first. Perhaps hire a professional guide that can help keep you safe while visiting the site, or maybe just leave it to the professionals.
You can see more of Isak’s incredible FPV drone footage of the eruption on his Instagram.