WATCH: Incredible Lava Video Captured in Vanuatu Volcano

Adventurer Geoff Mackley got as close as anyone ever has to the lava lake in Vanuatu's Marum volcano, and has the video to prove it.

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There’s lava, and then there’s lava.

A team of three adventurers headed by freelance photographer Geoff Mackley braved its way to Ambrym Island, Vanuatu, where they made their way to Marum Volcano’s lava lake back in September 2010. To capture the footage, the crew had to descend nearly 1,700 feet into the volcano. What follows is an amazing feat of nature gushing forth from the molten rock.

According to Mackley, the team came within 100 feet of the lava — the closest ever approach in that volcano. Without special equipment, “it was possible to stand the heat for only 6 seconds” Mackley noted on his website. But check out the guy in the protective suit standing near the lava lake’s roiling, spewing edge; he was able to bear the lava’s full sweltering 2100° F heat for nearly 40 minutes.

Erica Ho is a contributor at TIME and the editor of Map Happy. Find her on Twitter at @ericamho and Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.