Marum Volcano (05:35)
One of the world’s most active volcanoes features a central lava lake. Biologist Jeffrey Marlow and geologist Jens Kallmeyer seek to discover where life ends within. They meet with rigging and rope specialist, Chris Horsley; he explains the dangers of repelling to the inner crater.
Mount Etna (07:17)
The volcano has been erupting for 500,000 years, creating superior agricultural lands. Dr. Salvatore Giammanco studies venting gasses, finding water vapor. Scientists debate the origin of Earth’s oceans; recent evidence suggests they were released by volcanic activity during planet formation.
Hawaiian Islands (05:20)
The islands were formed by six million years of volcanic processes. When Kilauea erupted in 2018, lava drained through underground tunnels and emerged onto communities and into the ocean. Soon after, coastal phytoplankton bloomed, attracting zooplankton and large filter feeders.
Weather Delays (02:25)
Rainfall complicates Marum research; its crater is the world’s largest point source of sulfur dioxide, which creates acid when mixed with water. Marlow must wait to descend, but uses a thermal camera to find areas for the best sampling of extremophiles.
Oldoinyo Lengai (02:01)
The ash of Africa’s tallest and most active volcano is comprised of carbonate minerals, transforming Serengeti grasslands into fertile pasture, vital to wildebeest migration.
Volcanoes can be dormant for centuries before erupting. The stratovolcano is activating, threatening to transform its glaciers into a lahar. The nearly extinct Quito Rocket Frog is found exclusively at its base; a team of scientists collect remaining individuals for a breeding program.
Perceptions of Volcanic Eruptions (02:50)
The Argentata dell’Etna goat is found only near Mount Etna. A herder asserts his flock senses eruptions. His claims are confirmed by scientists using global positioning system tags, but they are still uncertain as to how the animals detect the events.
Volcanic Descent (03:15)
Marlow and Horsley make the 1,300-foot vertical drop into Marum. They clear the wall and cross the boulder field to the crater’s black ash plain. They are contacted by team members from the summit; rain is predicted, and they must return immediately.
Adapting to Destruction (09:16)
Volcanic activity creates the landscape, fast tracking Hawaiian wildlife evolution. Ecosystems form in lava tubes underground. On the Galapagos Islands, the giant tortoise basks in the warmth of Alcedo vents and eats mineral rich rocks.
Marum Vanuatu (04:29)
Marlow and Horsley reach the lava lake perimeter. Marlow takes sediment samples and gathers rocks from the edge, requiring special suiting. The experts ascend, hoping to gain insight into life’s origins from data analysis.
Extremophile Discovery (04:14)
Scientists believe life began at hydrothermal vents that formed where tectonic plates part on the ocean floor. Marlow and Kallmeyer analyze Marum samples, finding living cells. Lifeforms in severe Earth environments could resemble organisms elsewhere in the universe.
Credits: Living Volcanoes (00:48)
Credits: Living Volcanoes
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