Photo: "First Contact With Inner Earth": Drillers Strike Magma



A collapsed vent allows hot lava to peek through solidified rock at Hawaii's Kilauea volcano in an undated photo.

For the first time on record, workers drilling at a geothermal plant near Kilauea accidentally hit a pocket of magma in its natural environment deep inside Earth. Announcing the find at a December 2008 meeting, one volcano expert likened the discovery to a paleontologist finding a dinosaur romping on a remote island.

Photograph courtesy Hawaii Volcano Observatory


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