GE is jumping into a volcano in Nicaragua, and social media is invited

Massaya Volcano (aka “The Mouth of Hell”) in Nicaragua,
Source: @tmophotos, Qwake via General Electric

General Electric is venturing into the "Mouth of Hell," and it wants to bring the world along for the journey.

Over the past two weeks, filmmaker and adventurer Sam Cossman has joined forces with the industrial giant in an effort to bring the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua — nicknamed "The Mouth of Hell" — online. Descending 1,200 feet into the volcano sporting a specialized exo-suit, Cossman installed a wireless sensor network that's designed to detect and predict when a volcano will erupt. Naturally, because this is the age of social media, GE's Snapchat and Facebook page have transmitted every step of the voyage.

GE's officials explained that Cossman and his band of explorers are considered experts at taking on "extreme environments." Fitting, since the leap into Masaya is an exploration into what might be thought of as hell.


"Masaya volcano is one of the most active lava lakes on the planet which made it an ideal location to install these sensors with the goal of creating an advanced early warning system" using GE's proprietary systems, Lindsay Stein, associate global creative director at the company, told CNBC recently.

The dive into Masaya "could not only set a new precedent for more accurately predicting volcanic eruptions worldwide, but could also help the scientific community create open source early detection systems by making the data available to developers worldwide," Stein said.

Normally, data from volcano monitoring is restricted to just pressure and temperature data. However, Cossman and his team will install more than 50 advanced sensors inside of the volcano intended to track its carbon dioxide levels, humidity, atmospheric pressure, gravity and a variety of other factors, for up to three months.


 Massaya Volcano (aka “The Mouth of Hell”) in Nicaragua,
Source: @tmophotos, Qwake via General Electric

Afterward, that information will be available to developers and scientists, in order to help them build better early detection applications.

"The goal is to allow anybody in the world who is interested to have access to tools and data that otherwise wouldn't have been available," said Jayson DeLancey, GE's developer evangelist. "Once a developer has access to a platform, services and data, there really is a wide range of opportunities to solve challenging problems."



Massaya Volcano (aka “The Mouth of Hell”) in Nicaragua,
Source: @tmophotos, Qwake via General Electric

For the adventurers themselves, they'll be able to bask in the glory of social media. The team has uploaded a series of videos and images to Snapchat and Facebook, and just this week published a Snapchat story that describes the entire experience.

"What we're sharing isn't scripted or rehearsed," Stein told CNBC. "It's a real, raw view of what's happening on the ground."