Saturday, 21 April 2018

James Bond volcano erupts

The stack of rock that featured in The Man With The Golden Gun has long been known as James Bond Island, and it seems as if another natural feature is swiftly gaining a similar name, at least unofficially.
The crater of Mount Shinmoedake. Photo: Motamota [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons
The eruption of the Mount Shinmoedake volcano in Japan in March captured the attention of the world’s press. The sight was spectacular, of course, and it was the first time the volcano had erupted for seven years, but the event was also notable because the volcano doubled as the exterior view of Blofeld’s subterranean lair in You Only Live Twice (1967). Activity has continued, and this week the eruption has again featured in the press and other media outlets. 

Many of the articles published since last month have mentioned the volcano’s connection to James Bond, and inevitably the words ‘James Bond volcano’ have been used. ABC News had the headline, ‘Lightning seen over Japan's so-called James Bond volcano’. Jakarta Post ran with a story with the headline, ‘”James Bond” volcano erupts in Japan, no-go warning issued’. BBC News headlined its story with ‘Mount Shinmoedake: Warning over Japan's James Bond volcano’. The headline on the Forbes website was ‘Japan's 'James Bond' volcano erupts in a spectacular display of fire and smoke’. The Telegraph simply wrote: ‘Shinmoedake, Japan's 'James Bond volcano' erupts.’ Yahoo News reported that ‘Smoke Billows from Japan's 'James Bond' volcano’. The Sun didn’t use the phrase, ‘James Bond volcano’ in its headline, but still referenced James Bond: ‘Japanese volcano used in classic 007 movie starring Sean Connery erupts.’

While Mount Shinmoedake is unlikely to be renamed officially, the references to the James Bond volcano show that You Only Live Twice and SPECTRE’s secret base continue to have a significant place in the cultural environment across the world.

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