As the rocks cool on creating a mosaic of black and red a team of scientists brave the high temperatures in their search for answers to the secrets of what happens below the surface of the Earth.
The molten stone forms the world’s largest lava lake on the Nyiragongo volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
These incredible images were taken by a daredevil photographer who joined the research team on their journey to Congo and Italy and Mount Etna enduring temperatures of over 1100 degrees Celsius (2000 degrees Fahrenheit).
Reventador is an active volcano located in the eastern Andes of Ecuador. Since 1541 it has erupted over 25 times, last time in 2009. Photo by: Jeff Cundith
Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano eruption and thunderstorm in 2011, Chile. Photo by: Francisco Negroni
A cloud of ash billows from the Puyehue volcano near Osorno, Chile. Photo by: Claudio Santana
A woman walks along a road covered with ash from Chile’s Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain near the Cardenal Samore border pass between Argentina and Chile. Photo by: Ivan Alvarado
Spectacular view of Russia`s Sarychev peak volcano erupting. Photo by: International Space Station
Sakurajima volcano in southern Japan is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and one of the few that are at present constant. Photo by: Martin Rietze
Dancing with the lava, Fimmvörðuháls volcano eruption in 2010, Iceland. Photo by: Skarphedinn Thrainsson
Erupting volcano and northern light, Iceland. Photo by: James Appleton | National Geographic
Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland. Photo by: Marco Fulle | Fame Pictures
Pahohoe lava moves across black sand beach at Kamoamoa, Hawaii. Photo by: G. Brad Lewis
Lava meets ocean water after Kilauea volcano eruption in 2011, Hawaii. Photo by: Alain Barbezat