While we sit here in our ergonomic chairs designed to make sitting on our arses as comfortable as possible, sipping our cups of green tea wracking our brains about which deliciously yum lunch place to go to and whinge about 'deserved' pay rises, Indonesian sulfur miners are risking the shit out of their lives for as little as 12 US dollars a day. First world problems, huh?
Lurking 8668 ft above sea level in the crater of East Java's Kawah Ijen volcano lies a 50-ft-deep lake of sulfuric acid. The local miners make the climb daily to harvest the mineral, most of whom brave the toxic gases and intense temperatures without any protection, and carry back 150 to 200 pounds of the shit. In baskets. ON THEIR SHOULDERS. How's that purple, bean-filled, ergo-keyboard-wrist thingy going?
So, French wildlife photographer Olivier Grunewald decided he had a pair and ventured deep into the bowels of Mordor with the miners, snapping some ridiculous shots of the whole ordeal. Blue rivers of flame, orange and yellow sulfury shit that looks like the remains of a nuclear cheese toasty explosion and hardcore miners wearing safety hats that wouldn't protect a ping pong ball thrown by a baby are all part of Grunewald's incredible photo essay.