How to Survive an Underwater Volcano

If you ever have the misfortune of being cast into an underwater volcano, here’s what you should do.

Undersea volcano

Underwater volcano credits: volcano, sea

First, take note whether the volcano is dormant or active. In most cases, this is easy to ascertain. Have you landed in or are you dangling over a pool of molten lava (hot, orange, smelly)? Are there glowing fissures or slow lava leaks on any interior surface of the crater? Is steam wafting from any cracks? What about bubble curtains or a sulfurous smell? (Keep in mind that we are only considering the volcano’s inside since you’d be hard pressed to examine its exterior.) Also, if a scalding wave spews you from the top of the volcano, it’s active. You have also escaped. Congratulations.

But if none of these evidences are present, I’m happy to say you are in a dormant volcano (We will not be held liable for damages due to spontaneous eruptions). In this case, you are free to scale the wall and simply swim away. Of course, the usual cautions apply to deep ocean diving. Watch out for giant tubeworms, sneaky sprites, and carnivorous coral. And giggly mermaids, who are just irritating. You may also want to keep an eye out for whoever threw you into the volcano in the first place. Then swim away as fast as your assorted arms, legs, or fins will take you.

If, on the other hand, you are in an active, steam-smoke-lava producing volcano, you may well be dead. Our condolences. On the slim chance that you have survived, this is our advice. If you are a power mage of any kind (shock, luminescent or shield), you have a great advantage. Shockers and lumins need only absorb the power emanating from the lava. Shield mages must immediately raise barriers to protect themselves. Once this is accomplished, your barrier will absorb the energy pounding its surface, thus enabling you to maintain your shield indefinitely. Or, at least, until you grow hungry or bored. In the interest of avoiding an accidental lapse in protection, it is advisable for shield mages to exit the volcano promptly, regardless of how comfortable or fascinating its glowing fires may seem.

Even shockers and lumins may crave a release from their volcanic experience. Take care not to be led astray by salamanders, firefish, or other indigenous creatures. They only want to lure you to your death (and their dinner). The most common problem for mages trapped in volcanos (other than pain, suffering, and ultimately, death) is that they become disoriented and can’t find their way out. It’s understandable, what with all the lava plumes and blinding steam. Many a sprite has been tempted to take a rest on the comfy pillow lava. But you must not give in to this impulse.

Instead, remember the law of gravity. Gather a handful of pebbles (preferably not melted) and drop one. Unless it is caught in a heated current, it will drift slowly to the crater floor. You should swim in the opposite direction, toward the top of the volcano. If, however, the pebble moves swiftly, this is a sign that it is caught in a heated updraft, or possibly even an eruption. You should then follow the pebble until you lose sight of it. Repeat this process until you clear the volcano’s rim.

At this point, you should swim away as fast as you can (as explained above) and hunt down the moron/enemy/older brother or whoever dumped you in this mess. Also, please see a healer for any scrapes, burns, blisters or infections.

Once again, we at Surviving the Deeps are delighted to impart our oceans of wisdom. We regret we cannot provide follow-up support for volcanic accidents of any kind.

Upcoming lesson: What to eat and how not to be eaten in the Deep Sea

Until next time, swim free, dive deep, and stay alive!

Why would anyone cast you into a volcano?