Volcanic activity is a force of nature that's both terrifying and beautiful. It's also one that few people on Earth get to experience firsthand. Just a few weeks ago, the Fagradalsfjall volcano began erupting on the Reykjanes peninsula near Reykjavík, Iceland, after lying dormant for more than 6,000 years. French director and photographer Stéphane Ridard—newly based in Iceland—quickly seized the opportunity to experience and document such a once-in-a-lifetime event. The talented director shot stunning aerial footage of molten lava bursting from the volcano’s summit and flowing down it in brilliant streams before cooling into inky volcanic rock in the midst of the vast, icy landscape. He titled the resulting short film “Stranded.”
Accompanied by a spellbinding soundtrack befitting such seemingly surreal views, Ridard's short film runs for just over two minutes and captures but a fraction of the entirety of the volcano’s explosive activity. Though the eruption at Fagradalsfjall began almost a month ago on March 19, 2021, the volcano is still emitting fresh lava; a new fissure vent just opened to release its fiery molten contents on April 17. One can only guess how much longer the event will last after 6,000 years of inactivity.
Scroll down to view Stéphane Ridard’s “Stranded” in its entirety and experience Fagradalsfjall’s breathtaking eruption for yourself. To see more of his impressive work, visit the director’s website or follow him on Instagram.