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Icelandic volcano Fimmvörðuháls erupting against the Northern Lights in February

Volcanoes are magnetic. They are unpredictable, exciting and unknowable. They link us to the far past and to an unimaginably disturbing future. Many are thrillingly active, and as I write these words a new volcanic vent will be appearing, somewhere. As it does, and the news spreads, people will head there—volcanologists certainly but also intrepid and inquisitive travellers, many laden with expensive gear to capture the moment.

Volcanic beauty can take many forms.  The eerie turquoise-coloured sulphur lake, at the heart of Costa Rica’s most visited volcano, Poas, emerges from…

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