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"Electrifying" video from the crater of Guatemala's Volcan Santiaguito... as it erupts!
Our group of five set up camp a safe distance from where the eruptions would be taking place, and the volcano was spitting out large amounts of ash, smoke, and gas regularly from the time we arrived. (Here's a farther-away version of what we saw from the camp-site.) Not satisfied to observe from a "safe distance," we asked our guide whether we could climb up next to the crater and wait for an eruption. He gave us his blessing-- after some pleading on our part-- and he led us on a climb up to the crater.
The video I shot, seen above, captures pretty well the chaos and absurdity (though not the noxious smell of sulfur) of standing thirty feet from a volcano as it erupts. Be sure to stick around until the 0:55 mark for some fun with static electricity-- turn the sound up on your computer for the full effect.
For another view (with even more cursing!), check out this great Youtube vid.