By Danny Baggott @Dan_Baggie
Scroll down for the full story
Videographer / director: Joel Santos
Producer: Danny Baggott, Ellie Winstanley
Editor: Matthew Hoare
Travel photographer Joel Santos, 38, piloted a drone low over the bubbling lake, which reaches temperatures exceeding 1,100 degrees celsius.
The lake, which has had a continuous flow since 1906, is situated inside the 2,011-foot-high Erta Ale volcano, otherwise known as Smoking Mountain, in the Afar region of northeastern Ethiopia.
Joel, from Lisbon, Portugal, said: “Every two or three minutes you can hear a small hiss of pressure beneath the volcano and all of a sudden a crack just opens wide.
“Then it’s like fireworks - the whole volcano starts bursting with lava into the air.”
The volcano’s last major eruption occurred in 2005, killing 250 livestock and forcing thousands of nearby residents to flee.
And the Portuguese photographer remained acute aware of the hazards posed by filming such a potentially devastating natural phenomenon at such close quarters.
He added: “You have to be very careful because although it’s a really beautiful show that nature presents you, it’s a very dangerous show.
“You have to be aware that if there’s an eruption you could be covered in lava.
"I put myself in harms way to try to get unique footage and unique shots, but some friends think that I’m a little bit crazy.”
Joel used a drone to film his footage from above the lake, alongside four 4K resolution cameras that could handle the scorching conditions around the lake’s rim.
The Danakil Desert, where the volcano lies, is officially the hottest inhabited place on earth, meaning Joel could only film in the early morning or late at night.
And despite the challenges of filming in such intense heat, Joel is proud to have visited such an epic location on two separate occasions.
He said: “It’s a basaltic shield volcano and there’s only six in the world.
“This is one of those that you can actually approach. It’s an unbelievable experience.
“It still amazes me how nature works and I think it will continue to amaze me.”