Have you ever heard of the Kamchatka Peninsula? It's near Siberia. You've heard of Siberia. That's where the Stalin and his homeboys used to send the poor bastards who betrayed the Motherland or thought about capitalism or wore the wrong hat or whatever. Siberia is unpleasant. It's cold, empty, remote, inescapable. It's just horrible.
Well, the Kamchatka Peninsula is worse. Not because it's colder, emptier, more remote or more escapable. The Kamchatka Peninsula is simply covered in overactive, magma-spewing volcanoes. It's a seismic wonderland, home to 160 volcanoes, 29 of which are active, one of which happens to be the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere. It also happens to be smack dab on the treacherous edge of the so-called Ring of Fire, the especially seismically active areas circling the Pacific Ocean.When you put it that way, the Kamchatka Peninsula sounds kind of awesome.
Awesome is definitely the word for what's happening in that hellish little corner of Russia right now. The fun started at the end of last November, when one of the volcanoes, the Tobalchik, started to erupt, and over the course of the next few weeks, three other volcanoes started to erupt within about 100 miles. It's unclear if all of the magma is coming from the same place, but it's putting on quite a show, a show of the rivers of fire and fountains of lava variety. The German newsweekly Der Spiegel says it's the "geological equivalent of winning the lottery."
Lucky for you, a team of photographers from Moscow want to give you a front row seat. They call themselves Air Pano, and they've done this before. In the past couple of years, members of the group photographed the world famous Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in Iceland in 2010 and the Grímsvötn the following year. They canceled plans to shoot the Burj Khalifa, that 3,000 foot-tall dagger stabbing into the heavens above Dubai. Instead, they found themselves watching a scene of Biblical proportions. And they put it on the Internet for your enjoyment.
Image via Air Pano