When humans breathe, they release carbon dioxide gas that has built up inside them.
The Kilauea volcano on the Island of Hawaii is no different.
It is the world’s most active volcano. At its base, giant curtains of fire spew forth from fissure vents, creating a shifting wall of magma.
Interestingly, the curtain of fire requires no explosive activity from the volcano itself. The cause of the fiery curtain is the expansion of gas within the vents and oddly enough, the weight of the lava.
Contrary to the commonly imagined steep-sloped science fair volcano, Kilauea is a shield volcano, meaning it has very shallow slopes.
The shallow slopes that form Kilauea and the other volcanoes of Hawaii Island are constructed as the heavy fluid lava flows away from the volcano, with the help of gravity.
In Hawaiian, Kilauea literally translates to “much spreading.” As the lava constantly stretches under the pressure of its own weight, fractures form. It is from these fractures or fissure vents that, squeezed by the massive pressures of the lava itself, fiery curtains of magma erupt.
Deep in the Ecuadorian wilderness is a seismic monitoring station known as Casa del Arbol or “The Treehouse” because it is simply a small house built in a tree used for observing Mt. Tungurahua, the active volcano in the near distance.
While the simple wooden room is a sight to behold, the real attraction is the crude swing hanging from one of the tree’s skinny branches.
With no harness, net, or any other safety feature the swing (itself nothing more than a thick stick suspended by two ropes) arcs riders out into the void over the canyon.
Adventurous visitors are welcome to take a ride on the swinging seat, which may have been updated recently, adding a small, fabric belt to hold you in a bit.
You’re not actually swinging out over a void, but over a steepish hill, about 100 feet up.