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Happy April Fools: Richard Branson set to travel through lava with Virgin Volcanic

This story went viral on the net - Happy April Fools everyone!

Only 500 people have been to space, only three people have been to the bottom of the ocean, but no one has ever attempted to journey to the core of an active volcano. Until now!

Richard Branson, who has long held a fascination with volcanoes and having read Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth as a young boy, is making his dream of going there a reality. He is launching journeys to the Centre of the Earth through Virgin Volcanic.

Using patented carbon-carbon materials pioneered for deep space exploration, Virgin is proud to announce a revolutionary new vehicle, VVS1, which will be capable of plunging three people into the molten lava core of an active volcano.

The team behind Virgin Volcanic believes going to the core of the five most active volcanoes is just the first step. In future this technology can be developed as a clean, safe and fast alternative to trans- continental commercial aviation. By taking the heat from molten lava Virgin Volcanic plans to develop a totally renewable energy source to power the VVS1. It is seen as a way to literally fulfill Richard Branson’s philosophy of screwing business as usual. This would involve going through the Earth rather than round it. Experts predict that one could travel from Hawaii to Naples in a couple of hours via the molten lava flows, with passengers boarding and disembarking from a network of "Earthports" close to the world’s volcanoes.

In its first three years of operation, Virgin Volcanic's VVS1 will target the five most active volcanoes in the world:

•    Etna - Sicily, Italy 

•    Stromboli - Aeolian Islands 

•    Yasur - Republic of Vanuatu 

•    Ambrym - Republic of Vanuatu 

•    Tinakula - Solomon Islands

 You too can hop on for a ride. The deposit for a seat on the VVS1 is a mere $1m. The first Virgin Volcanic trips are scheduled for 2015. Go to to find out more. 

Tags richard branson virgin virgin volcanic innovation Science and Environment science&technology future futurejam alex o'brien active volcanoes VVS1