Did NOAA See Fire Underwater?

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Yesterday I posted the video below on the underwater eruptions captured by researchers last May.

 

If you haven’t seen the video (click on the image to view)  – I recommend you do. You’ll be among the first human beings in history to see molten lava flowing across the deep-ocean seafloor.

When those magma bubbles burst, it sure looks like fire burning, doesn't it? Which seems crazy and impossible if the volcano is underwater. So during my interview with Joseph Resing – the project leader of this research – I asked him if that’s what we’re seeing: fire underwater.

His response:

Joseph Resing: I think that’s a good question and one of the arguments we had on board the ship was whether or not the hydrogen that's created when molten rock and water interact – whether we’re seeing that hydrogen burn or explode. I think the evidence leans against it, but it’s still something I think about as being possible. I think mostly what you see must be the molten rock being exposed so you can see it. So as it expands you see the molten rock suddenly stare you in the face. Me: So that’s not necessarily fire that we’re seeing underwater. Joseph Resing: I don’t believe that’s fire, no.

I think it's cool that we aren't 100% sure what's happening there. If fire could burn underwater…that's just mind blowing, right?

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