Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh the Belying Majesty

(Please note that the photograph linked to is not the photograph I am speaking of. The correct one is the one of a volcanic eruption which is four pictures to the right in this gallery. I apologize for this inconvenience, but I find it impossible to link to that specific picture so please bear with me.)

During my rifling through of National Geographic's "Visions of Earth," I stumbled upon the most stunning and attention grabbing photograph I have ever laid my eyes upon. At first glance, I immediately thought that this picture had to be faked, for the photo seemed too beautiful, too captivating, and too perfect. However, upon looking for a few more seconds, I realized that the picture was not a fake at all, but simply naturally insanely beautiful, and upon further thought, I realized this event could potentially be very destructive.

When gazing at this image, I cannot help but to think of this as occurring on some other planet, or perhaps in some movie. The lightning streaking from the volcanic dust cloud illuminates the landscape and that half of the dust cloud itself, yet the sky is dark in the background. On the other side, red streaks of perhaps magma or burning materials can be seen throughout the cloud, yet they too resemble lightning. Having never seen “red lightning” I could not help but think, “Huh, what movie is this from?” The answer is the Icelandic Eyjafjallajökull volcano scene from reality.

Looking about four-tenths of the way up the right side of the dust cloud, two eerie red slits can be noted. To me, these slits resemble the eyes of a serpent, or perhaps a dragon, and cannot help but remind me that this piece, however spellbinding, remains a destructive volcanic eruption. This very eruption stopped so many flights in Europe last April and thus caused quite a bit of frustration and anger from the would-be fliers those days. Even worse, this cloud dropped much debris on surrounding farmlands, making agriculture from farming to ranching next to impossible. Perhaps some people even died if this eruption, which would top the list of this volcano’s worst effects.

This somewhat fake looking photo demonstrates a certain wisdom through nature itself. The eruption’s sheer majesty, coupled with same eruption’s destructive potential seems to show that even beautiful objects and events in this world can potentially have terrible consequences. Some minor in comparison to others and others major, but none quite as severe as loss of life, which unfortunately easily can be realized by such a volcanic eruption.