So as well all know, lava has a tendency to annihilate everything and anything that’s stupid enough to get in its path. However, check this guy out – he’s stepping on an active lava flow and walks away just fine.
There are various types of lava, and this type is called “pāhoehoe” (pronounced pah-hoy-hoy). This is a Hawaiian word which roughly translates to “on which one can walk”. Its flows are characterised by smooth looking surfaces that sometimes look like twisted braids of rope. Dr Robert Rothman explains that as pāhoehoe lava moves, the outer skin cools and becomes viscous, whereas the lava underneath is more of what you’d expect; boiling hot liquid. As it flows along the slightly more solid outer skin gets dragged along with it, which causes the twisted rope appearance. The slightly cooler outer rocks act as a type of insulation, stopping the what would be immediate heat transfer onto the shoe and burning though it. So as long as you don’t penetrate the outer, tougher shell, the lava is reasonably safe to walk on.
And if you though that guy was fearless, check out this ‘lava craft worker’ literally running across an active flow.
Wonder Of Science