Scott K. Johnson
The steel pipe is a stand-in for a lava tube— the conduits that form within large lava flows as the outer skin solidifies. The banana is a stand-in for a banana.
47 more images in gallery
The furnace is surprisingly well-insulated, disguising the fact that it holds molten rock heated to over 1,200 degrees Celsius. It does emit a low, ominous roar, however, as it consumes natural gas to feed its fire. Once poured out, the lava quickly loses heat—it solidifies in just a minute or so, though it still remains incredibly hot long after. Because it solidifies so quickly, it forms amber-black volcanic glass riddled with bubbles of gas that were unable to escape.
The lava pours are as mesmerizing and beautiful as they are geologically exciting. And they’ve probably shocked many a bus rider staring dully out the window while passing the art building.
» see original post http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/science/~3/IkYlpznX2xQ/