USGS Warns Against Roasting Marshmallows Over Volcano Vents

A curious social media user asked the U.S. Geological Survey if it was safe to roast marshmallows over volcano vents. The answer was NO.


After the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island erupted and started to ooze lava that has since flowed into the nearby estates, prompting hundreds of residents to evacuate their properties, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) started to issue number of warnings and updates on Twitter.

Amid a lot of serious queries, one social media user had a very unusual question for the USGS volcano crew.


The government agency, which was so far pretty serious about updating the public about possible dangers of the erupting volcano, responded to this amusing query in a rather goofy manner.


The USGS’ response dealt with all the possible consequences of the culinary stunt in question.

It pointed out how the emitting hydrogen sulfide or sulfur dioxide would make the marshmallows taste awful. The agency also said if you add sulfuric acid to sugar, "you get a pretty spectacular reaction."

The “vog,” which the USGS mentioned in the tweet, is volcanic smog created by vapor, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide gas released from Kilauea. Though it is not as explosive, it can be carried a long way by the wind, which means its effect can be felt for quite a few miles.

The online user who was apparently fantasizing about cooking-with-lava didn’t get too discouraged by the agency’s warning as he quickly came up with an alternative.


This light-hearted exchange over the matter took some heat off what has been a serious ongoing event. Just this week, the agency sent out warnings about vigorous lava eruptions, lava fountaining and volcanic gas emissions.


Banner Image Credits: REUTERS/Marco Garcia

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