ENVIRONMENT
09/10/2014 11:06 am ET Updated Sep 10, 2014

Volcanic Eruption Sends Shockwave You Have To See To Believe

When Papua New Guinea's Mount Tavurvur erupted in late August, island inhabitants said the volcano emitted steam and "occasionally boomed."

But if a new YouTube video of the eruption is any indication, those "occasional booms" are a completely different experience from close range. Australian taxi driver Phil McNamara captured the minute-long video above while he was on vacation near the volcano last week and decided to take a closer look.

"It was a spur of the moment thing to head out and film the volcano," McNamara told The Brisbane Times. "I thought I might as well try and capture something you rarely get to see."

Something you rarely get to see is right -- McNamara captured the exact moment a plume of hot ash exploded from the top of the mountain. A visible shockwave races across the water toward his boat and through the sky above, appearing as a cloud racing through the atmosphere. An unidentified bystander yells, "Holy smokin' toledos!" as the shockwave hits the camera.

The area surrounding Tavurvur has a long record of volcanic activity, reports NASA's Earth Observatory, which classified this eruption as "modest" by historical standards. The column of ash and gas ultimately reached a height of 60,000 feet, covering much of the island.

WATCH the incredible footage, above.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Fascinating Volcanoes
CONVERSATIONS