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Meet Volcanologist Carsten Peter in Volcanoes 3D: The Fires of Creation

Reviewed by on Jan 28, 2019
Rating: 5 Star Rating

Learn more about Volcanoes with Carsten Peter in this thrilling adventure that will take you the closest you’ll ever get to some of Earth’s biggest wonders and nature’s most devastating catastrophes. We review of Volcanoes 3D: The Fires of Creation!

By: Sabina Graves

Volcanoes 3D: The Fires of Creation is the latest IMAX film to be released and just opened at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, CA. Kidzworld was able to attend a special screening with real-life volcanologist and National Geographic Photographer Carsten Peter, whose story is featured in the film as he explores active volcanoes around the world.

Carsten at the edge of a volcanoCarsten at the edge of a volcano

Along with his team, Carsten treks to places like Indonesia to make a massive descent down to a lava lake, visits the mineral deposit fields in Ethiopia, and gives us a look at the remnants of Pompeii that still stands filled with the townspeople forever frozen in time. Seeing the massive power of Volcanoes is incredible, especially in 3D. We get a look at how they helped shape the world as we know it and how they can completely wipe out a populace at any moment like in Pompeii.  And seeing real eruptions is both beautiful and very scary.

Dallol Ethiopia Blue LakeDallol Ethiopia Blue Lake

Science and culture give us a unique look at these awe-inspiring bodies that are a source of life and creation but cautions the incredible luck we have to be able to coexist in the shadow of their power. While science can predict warning signs through a series of quakes in order to evacuate towns--we are still in danger of the catastrophic effects of possible Earth-changing eruptions from over 500 active volcanoes and some sleeping super-volcano friends. Most recently, we were able to see the devastation of the recent Kilauea eruption in Hawaii and the film shows how it all looked up close to the neighborhoods affected with springs of Lava popping up from the cracked ground.

It’s an incredible film to see and learn from!

Q&A with Carsten Peter

After the movie, we were able to be a part of a Q&A with Carsten Peter to find out more about his work and about the power of the mighty volcano!

Q: How do you protect yourself as you get close to volcanoes to not be hit by the lava?

  • Carsten: Usually, you try to avoid of course to be hit. If you see a volcanic bump approaching you, you try to calculate the trail and step away and it can impact next to you.

The don’t try this but still the best volcano selfieThe don’t try this but still the best volcano selfie

Q: Have you ever been too close to a volcano?

  • Carsten: You have to be never too close, you have to observe the volcano. As soon as you are too close, it could be too late for you. The line is very, very thin.

Q: What’s your favorite part of watching a volcano?

  • Carsten: I love the explosions. I love to see the incandescence of the lava. How it cools down and the creeping lava flow. There are lots of moments. There’s always a surprise. Volcanoes are living mountains. They always reshape. It’s marvelous.

Carsten in HawaiiCarsten in Hawaii

Q: You were standing among what had to be toxic burning gas. How in the world did you breathe without injuring yourself?

  • Carsten: I stand near volcanic smoke, it’s very harmful to your lungs. It has all sorts of acids and we have seen also burning methane. It’s dangerous and you have to avoid it. Sometimes in the film, you see me without the gas mask and sometimes with the gas mask--it’s always to wear it. It’s very bad even in love concentration to breathe these gasses and they might affect you in the long term. You have to avoid them.

Mexico City VolcanoMexico City Volcano

Q: Why do volcanoes explode?

  • Carsten: Well inside the earth, we have a lot of gasses in the rock and the more the magma rises, the less pressure is there and these gasses are released. And it depends a little bit on the chemistry of the volcano if these gasses will suddenly release or if they will slowly be released. That’s how the character is defined by the volcano, either it’s friendly or very explosive.

Volcanoes are majestic and scary Volcanoes are majestic and scary

Q: Were you interested in volcanoes as a kid?

  • Carsten: I was already interested as a kid. I was mesmerized by the images and I always wanted to see a volcano, the first time I was 15 years old when I bugged my parents to go to Sicily. It was not active but I was so impressed by the caldera and how deep it was and spectacular. My first active volcano was Stromboli when I was 17. We didn’t have any experience, we just went to the crater rim and it was completely stupid. We waited for an eruption and I was already obsessed with photography. We put the cameras on the tripods and waited and there was an explosion and there was lava above us and we were running and left our cameras. We just were running for our lives. That was my first experience, I don’t recommend it.

Volcanoes create but can also destroy to make way for new lifeVolcanoes create but can also destroy to make way for new life

Volcanoes 3D: The Fires of Creation Movie Rating: 5

Tell Us What You Think

Will you go see Volcanoes 3D? Are you interested in Volcanology? Have you been near a volcano? Let us know in the comments below!