Volcanoes mean more than threat and calamity. Like our parents, they've led whole lives before we get to know them. They have inspired our imaginations, provoked pioneering explorations and shaped the path of humanity.
World-renowned volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer has worked at the crater's edge in the wildest places on Earth, from remote peaks in the Sahara to mystical mountains in North Korea. He's faced down AK47s, learned from tribal elders, and watched red hot rocks shoot into the sky. More people have been into space than have set eyes on the fiery depths of Mount Erebus in Antarctica, where he has measured the Earth's powerful forces. In Mountains of Fire, he paints volcanoes as otherworldly, magical places where our history is laid bare and shows us just how entangled volcanic activity is with our climate, economy, politics, culture, and beliefs.
In a stunning blend of science, cultural history, myth and adventure, Mountains of Fire pulls out new lines of causation and correlation stretching around the globe and reveals how deeply our stories are intertwined.
Clive Oppenheimer is a volcanologist and filmmaker. He is Professor of Volcanology at the University of Cambridge, where he has been based for 30 years. His research seeks to understand how volcanoes work and to probe the connections between eruptions, climate, and society. He has conducted fieldwork around the world - either at the crater's edge peering in with assorted monitoring devices or hunting for the far-flung deposits of Earth's greatest eruptions. He has also made two documentary features with legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog, INTO THE INFERNO (Netflix, 2016) and FIREBALL: VISITORS FROM DARKER WORLDS (Apple TV+, 2020).