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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Incredible surreal volcanic riverscapes

By Phil Plait

The profound effect of volcanoes on their surroundings is sometimes difficult to grasp. Of course there are the obvious consequences of the aftermath of an eruption: the rock, the ash, the lava, the destruction of the landscape.

But more than that, they affect the water around them as well, in ways that can be as profound as they are bizarre and - for lack of a better term - psychedelic.

I offer this as proof:

[Oh yes, click to hephaestenate that.]

Russian photographer Andre Ermolaev took that shot. He flies over the twisted terrain of Iceland and takes pictures that are so surreal they almost defy description. The one above shows a river flowing through the volcanically-modified area, taken from a height of about 150 meters. His other pictures are equally odd and captivating (I found this one particularly compelling). You really should visit his site and click through his series of photos. He has quite a few on 500px as well.

I frequently post pictures of volcanoes taken from space because I love them so - I have so many I've had to create two separate galleries to show them all: Gallery 1 and Gallery 2 - but of course, from hundreds of kilometers above you miss the details. Ermolaev gets above them but stays close enough to remind us that the Earth is spectacular, gorgeous, dynamic, and even though it's home, can sometimes look as alien as anything seen in a science fiction movie.

Tip o' the lens cap to This Is Colossal.

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- The ancient shields of paradise
- That such a place exists
- Desktop Project part 20: Angling in on a smoking volcano

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