With social media taking over the world, it is estimated that 2021 will see 1.4 trillion photos taken as everyone races to share their experiences, achievements, or plain-old good looks to the world. With so many photos taken each day, it only makes sense that many will capture some absolutely ridiculous moments.
One such person is a hiker summiting Mount Nakadake, Japan, when a nearby volcano suddenly erupted, blasting hot ash and debris into the sky. Immediately following the initial eruption, the man decided to take a daring selfie, capturing the huge plume of steam and ash behind and creating what can only be described as one insane selfie.
Drawing on past experience of volcano eruptions, the man took cover behind a large rock and made it out alive.
"When I was looking through (the screen), the white smoke turned black, and after about 3 seconds, I heard a swooshing sound. I was scared. I never thought I would encounter such a thing,” said the man to local Japanese outlet RKK.
"I remembered the eruption of Mt. Ontake, so I ran about 200 meters [656 feet] and hid in the shadow of a large rock."
The photo was taken from the Mount Nakadake crater, which is around 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) from the erupting Mount Aso. At such a distance, the man was certainly in danger from the cocktail of ash, gases, and flying debris that spew out of an explosive eruption, but quick thinking and a fast scurry down the mountain allowed him to tell the extraordinary tale.
Mount Aso began erupting at 11:43 AM local time on Wednesday, and made quite the display as it sent plumes of ash 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) into the sky, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. There was a warning put out over the potential of rocks falling, but no injuries have been reported yet. At the time, there were a reported 16 hikers in the surrounding area, but all made it down safely.
As the largest active volcano in Japan and among the largest in the world, Mount Aso stands at almost 1,600 meters (5,250 feet) above sea level and features a gigantic caldera (a hollow that forms after the emptying of a magma chamber) with a circumference of 120 kilometers (75 miles). It sits on the Island of Kyushu, in Aso Kujū National Park. The volcano previously had an alert level of 3, which was promptly increased to 5 following the eruption and is no longer accessible for hiking.