More than 10,000 people visit White Island every year, carried from the mainland by boat or helicopter. It is one of the few places in the world where you can walk into the crater of an active volcano. Swirling ash and noxious gases can make this unpleasant, however, and gas masks are essential.
This photograph was taken in 1977 on an exceptionally clear day, when the wind was blowing away from the photographer. The active vent is discharging pale brown ash, while fumaroles (gas vents) are ejecting white steam and acid gases. The atmosphere is highly corrosive, and can ruin clothing after even a short time.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Photograph by Simon Nathan
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