Slip and Slide We drive as close to the top of the volcano as
we can. We have to hike the rest of the way up. We grab all our gear and get started. It’s not easy. T ick dust covers the volcano’s slopes, so each time I take a step up, my foot slides partway back. I take another step and slide again. I’ve moved up, but barely. I don’t mind. T is slippery slope is just the
first sign that this volcano is a little strange. It’s made of hardened lava like other volcanoes. Yet this rock is more crumbly. My team and I make it to the top. We’ve
reached the volcano’s crater, or its opening. Here’s where the lava spills out of the ground. It rises up through vents, or hollow tunnels inside the volcano. T en it bubbles, flows, and even blasts out.
Rock Art T e inside of this crater looks like no place
else on Earth. In fact, I feel like I’ve landed on another planet. I’ve never seen anything like it. Wild rock shapes rise from the crater floor.
One looks like a giant wing. It formed when lava spurted straight up out of a vent like a fountain. T en the lava hardened before it could hit the ground. I see small, domed mountains and tall,
skinny chimneys. Some chimneys spit lava into the air. T e lava turns foamy in midair, and then it hardens. It looks like silver glitter as it clatters to the ground. We set up camp nearby. Later that night,
I return to the edge of the crater. It looks eerie. T e rocks seem to glow. Faint green flames spurt from some of the tall chimneys.
Looking for Lava I want to race into the crater to take pictures.
I don’t, though. I need to wait and watch to make sure it’s safe. So first I search for signs of hot lava. It can
be hard to spot. T at’s another way that this volcano is diff erent from other ones. In most volcanoes, the lava is so hot
that it glows red as it gushes out of the ground. You oſt en can see thick, red globs of hot lava as it spills out of the crater and slowly oozes across the ground. As it cools, this kind of lava turns into a hard, black rock. T e lava I see spurting out of this
volcano isn’t like that. I spot some flowing across the ground. It moves quickly in a thin stream no wider than my arm. It’s as runny as oil. It’s also black,
Lava hardens in the shape of a wing.
not red. T at’s because, for lava, it’s fairly cool. It’s only about 550° Celsius (1,000° Fahrenheit) when it first comes out of the ground. Red-hot lava is twice as hot. Still, I know the danger is very real. T is lava is still hot enough to burn holes in my gear.
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