Wait, is the floor lava? A volcanologist weighs in - The Beaverton

Wait, is the floor lava? A volcanologist weighs in

TORONTO – With the success of the Netflix show Floor is and the children’s song ‘The Floor is Lava’ by the Kiboomers, the question of whether the floor is lava or not has never been more relevant. To get some clarity on the issue, we talked to Janelle Parkinson, a certified volcanologist.

Hi, thanks for coming in. You are a Volcanologist?

Yes, I earned my PhD in Volcanology from the University of British Columbia in 2014. I’ve spent my professional life travelling the world and researching volcanoes, lava, and volcanic eruptions.

I heard somewhere that the floor is lava. Can you verify this?

Do you mean, the floor in the room we’re in right now?


No. The floor here is carpet.

I see. What if I yelled “The floor is lava!” and jumped up on my chair?

Still carpet. Your words do not have the power to create lava.

Okay, but what about what’s under the carpet? Did the rock that the building is built on used to be lava?

If it is igneous rock, it would be former lava, but a) this building is not on igneous rock, and b) even if we were standing on igneous rock, we could not truthfully say ‘the floor is lava’, we’d have to say ‘the floor was lava.’

Huh. Why did I think the floor was lava?

Were you playing the children’s game where people pretend the floor is made of lava?


Look, I don’t think you are taking the dangers of lava very seriously. Volcanoes kill about 540 people every year. Volcanology is a serious topic. Do you think the people in Pompeii shouted ‘The floor is lava’ when they were covered in ash and died instantaneously?

They probably said ‘THE SKY IS LAVA!’


Just one more thing before you go… THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

AHHHHHHH! *jumps on chair*