It's a bad idea to interact with lava. Still, the sight of molten rock can inspire a childlike urge in many people to place an object in its path and watch what happens.
That's what photographer Brian Lowry recently did, filming a now-viral video of lava enveloping two full Coke cans. Lowry has spent years shooting Hawaii's lava flows, and last year posted a video of lava immersing a can of ravioli. This followup uses an even more iconic commodity, and raises an age-old question: Will it explode?
Lowry wondered the same thing, explaining on YouTube that he punched a tiny hole in the first can "to prevent it from randomly exploding." Neither it nor a second, fully sealed can erupted with much force, but the footage is still far from disappointing. After all, science isn't always about explosions. And yes, Lowry asserts, this is science.
"This series of videos is scientific in nature," Lowry writes, adding that he hopes his work can illuminate "how differing sealed objects react to the 2,000-degree lava."
Since 2,000-degree lava is also dangerous, Lowry warns amateurs not to replicate his experiments. "Don't try this at home," he writes, advice that most likely applies away from home as well. "Safety precautions were taken and only the GoPro was slightly in harm's way. By the end of this outing most of my camera gear was just a bit sticky."