Phil McNamara was on vacation in Papua New Guinea when he and a group of other travelers boarded a boat near an active volcano named Tavurvur.
Little did Phil know that day that he would witness a rare eruption followed by a terrifying sonic boom.
In the video below, you can see the volcano erupt at around 13 seconds, but the really incredible moment happens about 12 seconds later (at the 25-second mark) when a sonic boom soundwave actually reaches Phil’s boat.
According to National Geographic, “Shock waves are different from sound waves. In this case, as you hear on the video, the volcanic eruption shock wave takes about 13 seconds to reach the camera microphone.
Shock waves are strong pressure waves in the air that travel faster than sound, and their speed increases as amplitude is raised. But their intensity actually decreases faster than the intensity of a sound wave.”
“Watch out for the shockwave,” Phil warned, “it’s comin’.”
Sure enough, it hit.
While quite a few people on-board completely panicked when the boom reached their boat, one guy’s response was the absolute perfect reaction.
“Holy Smokin’ Toledo,” he shouted. You can see the whole thing unfold in the 2014 video below:
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