One and a half meters is the closest I have ever been from lava, on Guatemala's Pacaya. The heath is so strong, that I couldn't stand any closer or longer. The sneaker's sole of Mom melted, while I was wondering with Dad the possibility of taking advantage of such an enormous amount of energy (extremely interesting are also the anaconda model and pelamis project).
The day after tomorrow I am landing on the Azores Islands. It is not rare that sometimes new islands emerge because of volcanic activity. That happen once, and --of course!-- English flags were risen immediately. Ironically, the new island disappear as fast as it had emerged.
Volcanic energy evaporating water in the Azores: "Sea water instantly turns to super-heated steam as it seeps into the active submarine volcano known as Ilha Nova, or "new island." Months after the volcano first erupted on September 27, 1957, torrential rains from the condensing steam continued to torment the villagers living near the new volcano" (taken from National Geographic).