Not only is New Zealand's White Island - or Whakaari - one of the more inhospitable spots on the planet, it is home to what is, perhaps, one of the most esoteric and accessible museums - “The Great London Opera House Volcano Museum” - a shabby construction perched recklessly above a thirty foot drop into a bubbling sulphur late. The 'Museum' itself has become something of a cult hit with tourist operators to the formerly private island, despite being mostly comprised of rusted, corrugated metal, and the only regular exhibit is the hermit who lives there, the so-called 'Volcano Man'.
I had the good fortune to be able to meet this strange character face to face. As one might expect, the 'Volcano Man' cuts a peculiar figure, covered in a charred and cankered tweed jacket, a pair of ruined brogues, and the wretched remains of a paisley-patterned waistcoat which hugs him with the mindless fervour of an unhappy child being abandoned to their first day at school.
“Greetings, Volcano Man. Could I spare a moment of your time?”
“Whassat? Whassat? You're trying to steal my time box?! No! The power of time travel should only be used…for GOOD!”
“Ah, quite. I was quite curious about your circumstances, and wondered if I could ask you a few questions?”
“Mmn? Sure. If you have the - ah. I see you have. Good. Like a good bottle of port. Right. So as I was saying, let me tell you about the time I nearly blew up the whole of london…with a VOLCANO…”
— Except from 'Volcano Man: A Silhouette Etched in Ashes', published in National Geographic, April 2044