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Phreatic explosions and lava bombs

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A few months ago, I took a really cool trip out to Death Valley -- check out my posts on the mysterious moving rocks of Racetrack Playa, the world's toughest footrace and scenic pioneer graves -- but since it's no longer very cool in Death Valley (Saturday's high will be 114 fahrenheit), what I learn about California's Great Basin treasure will have to be sourced from the internet. As it happens, there's one fascinating site I neglected to mention: Ubehebe Crater. Measuring about 800 feet across and 700 feet deep, it's a blast crater created by volcanic activity, to be sure, but this wasn't your typical volcanic explosion. It was a phreatic eruption -- a particularly deadly variety.

Phreatic eruptions happen when magma flows close to the surface, and comes into contact with groundwater. The magma is unbelievably hot -- up to 2,100 degrees F -- and turns the water instantly into steam, resulting in a lava-less but extremely destructive explosion which can include "volcanic bombs" (huge blobs of magma that cool into solid rocks before they hit the ground), great quantities of carbon dioxide (which can suffocate people at sufficient concentration) and hydrogen sulfide gas (a broad spectrum poison which claimed 149 lives during a 1979 eruption in Java). The phreatic eruption hall of fame is a storied one, and includes such volcanic superstars as the 1980 eruption(s) of Mt. Saint Helens and the "loudest sound in human history," the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 (which we blogged about here). In short, it seems that the heat isn't the only reason they call it Death Valley.

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9 Exhilarating Close-Up Photos of Sharks
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Dive into the world of Shark, a new book by award-winning photographer Brian Skerry.

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Hamilton Broadway
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Food
A Hamilton-Themed Cookbook is Coming
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Hamilton Broadway

Fans of Broadway hit Hamilton will soon be able to dine like the Founding Fathers: As Eater reports, a new Alexander Hamilton-inspired cookbook is slated for release in fall 2017.

Cover art for Laura Kumin's forthcoming cookbook
Amazon

Called The Hamilton Cookbook: Cooking, Eating, and Entertaining in Hamilton’s World, the recipe collection by author Laura Kumin “takes you into Hamilton’s home and to his table, with historical information, recipes, and tips on how you can prepare food and serve the food that our founding fathers enjoyed in their day,” according to the Amazon description. It also recounts Hamilton’s favorite dishes, how he enjoyed them, and which ingredients were used.

Recipes included are cauliflower florets two ways, fried sausages and apples, gingerbread cake, and apple pie. (Cue the "young, scrappy, and hungry" references.) The cookbook’s official release is on November 21—but until then, you can stave off your appetite for all things Hamilton-related by downloading the musical’s new app.

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