The Only Volcano Magma Chamber People Can Actually Visit

Supervillains, in popular fiction, will typically build their lair in hard-to-reach places like the middle of a volcano, as Dr. Evil did in the film "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery." However, volcanoes are generally off-limits to humans for reasons that really don't need explaining. In places where active volcanoes are a part of daily life, such as Hawai'i, authorities have strict rules for people visiting them (per the National Park Service). It's no wonder, as volcanoes are incredibly dangerous, and going into the heart of the volcano — its magma chamber — is usually out of the question.

However, visitors can descend into the very heart of one volcano — into the chamber from where magma once flowed, according to Inside the Volcano. Indeed, magma may yet flow again, since the mountain is considered dormant rather than extinct. But, intrepid explorers seeking this volcanic thrill must first hop on a flight to Iceland

Welcome to Thrihnukagigur

If you're a fan of extreme activities, and if your definition of "extreme" includes lowering yourself into the belly of a dormant, yet possibly dangerous, volcano's magma chamber, then Iceland has you covered. Thrihnukagigur volcano, about a half-hour's drive from Reykjavik, according to National Geographic, last erupted 4,000 years ago. It is rare among dormant volcanoes in that it didn't collapse after its last eruption — essentially preserving its hollow cone. 

You can either hike to the top or take a helicopter, after which you'll put on safety equipment and take a mechanical lift down into the chamber. In describing the experience, Andrés Ruzo, an explorer for National Geographic wrote "A single bright beam of bluish light shoots down from the world above, highlighting what appeared as a living chandelier of dripping water droplets in a part of the chamber."

Inside the Volcano sells tickets to tour the chamber, which includes a descent via the cable lift, for 44,000 Icelandic Krona (about $350) for adults, and 22,000 (about $175) for children 8-12.