Man Snaps Selfie Right Next To Huge Erupting Volcano

With social media sweeping over the world, it is predicted that 1.4 trillion images will be taken by 2021 as people rush to share their experiences, accomplishments, or just simple good looks with the world. With so many images taken every day, it is only natural that some will capture some truly bizarre moments. A hiker on the summit of Mount Nakadake in Japan caught off guard when a nearby volcano erupted, spewing scorching ash and debris into the sky. The man opted to take a risky picture right after the initial eruption, capturing the massive plume of steam and ash behind him and generating what can only described as one insane selfie.

The man took cover behind a massive boulder, drawing on previous experience with volcano eruptions, and made it out alive. “As I looked through (the screen), the white smoke turned black, and I heard a swooshing sound after about 3 seconds.” I was terrified. “I never expected to come across something like this,” the man told RKK, a local Japanese news outlet. “Remembering Mt. Ontake’s eruption, I raced approximately 200 meters [656 feet] and took cover in the shadow of a large rock.”

The image was obtained from the Mount Nakadake crater, which is around 1 kilometer (0.6 mile) away from Mount Aso, which is now erupting. The man was obviously in danger from the cocktail of ash, fumes, and flying debris that spews out of an explosive eruption from such a distance, but quick thinking and a swift dash down the mountain allowed him to relate the incredible story.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, Mount Aso began erupting at 11:43 a.m. local time on Wednesday and put on quite a show, sending clouds of ash 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) into the sky. Although there was a warning issued about the possibility of rocks falling, no injuries have been reported. There were reportedly 16 hikers in the area at the time, but they all made it down safely.

Mount Aso, Japan’s largest active volcano and one of the world’s largest, stands about 1,600 meters (5,250 feet) above sea level and has a 120-kilometer-long caldera (a hole formed after a magma chamber is emptied) (75 miles). It is located in Aso Kuj National Park on Kyushu Island. The volcano’s previous alert level was three, but it was quickly raised to 5 following the eruption, making it inaccessible for hiking.