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The white volcano mystery

Extreme documentary about the mystery surrounding Kueishantao volcano off Gueishan Island, Taiwan. A dangerous expedition in earthquake, volcanic, and military-conflict zone, directed by oceanographer Dr. Mario Lebrato and filmaker Daniel Meana. HELP US tell the world this amazing story

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Have you ever wondered how life began on Earth?

Millions of years ago before life began on Earth, volcanoes dominated the planet, and their chemical reactions were behind the origins of life. Scientific expeditions studying the beginning of life are surrounded by great mystery owing to the challenging nature of the topic itself. The average person does not usually have access to the secrets uncovered during these expeditions, the dangers, and the adventure itself.

We invite you to join us and a team of international scientists in a dangerous expedition in Taiwan. We work in an area where earthquakes, volcanic activity, and military conflicts can occur any time. We want to film for the first time an extreme documentary about the mystery of the Gueishan Island and the Kueishantao volcano. This is an underwater volcano that we believe hides secrets about how life began on Earth.

In this unique place some animals are able to survive in seawater at more than 100 °C (212 °F), at high levels of sulfur. Near the volcano mouth water and minerals emanate from the Earth interior to form a white and yellow mosaic of colors.

HELP US get our crew to the volcano to produce an epic documentary as you have never seen before, in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth, where scientists believe life could have begun

What is a white volcano?

Perhaps the white volcano of Kueishantao is not what you have in mind as a typical volcano... Usually, volcanoes have a crater and orange and yellow lava come out with large explosions. However, there are many types of volcanoes on Earth, including underwater volcanoes that are still forming islands or are remains of older volcanoes.

White volcanoes are also known as white hydrothermal vents, and their color is a consequence of chemicals flowing out such as calcium, barium, and silicon.

Hydrothermal vents are present in oceanic areas that are still volcanically active where magma is relatively close to the Earth surface. Sea water filters into the Earth crust, and the heat generated in the interior expels out the fluid at the seafloor, reaching temperatures from 80 to 400 °C (176 to 752 °F).

At the Kueishantao volcano, the sulfur combines with other elements to give a yellowish and whitish tone to the water, creating a mosaic of colors more like Venus than the Earth itself.

This volcano has a summit at 401 m, and it is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire in the Okinawa Trench. The volcano is also known as Turtle Island, because watching it from a side it looks like the emblematic animal. The last major eruption occurred during the Qing Dynasty (1775-1795 AD), with stories that the island was split in half. The next eruption could be soon. Will we be there to film it?

What is the objective of the documentary and the expedition?

In the documentary we want to interview and portray the local communities, talking with elders, and learning from their memories. Then we will join scientists to try to discover what secrets are hidden in the Kueishantao volcano. The expedition is an adventure full of unresolved mysteries in an ocean full of dangers.

Scientists are going to look for clues about the animals living in the volcano and how they evolved in such a hostile environment. We know there are crabs, corals, algae, and bacteria that live at more than 100 °C (212 °F) in extreme sulphur and carbon dioxide levels that would kill any living organism. We want to discover what makes them so special and which adaptations they have to thrive in such extreme environments.

How are we going to succeed in this project?

This expedition is supported by a 3-year project between the German Ministry of Science and Education (BMBF) and the Chinese Ministry of Science along with that of Taiwan. In this project also collaborate the Christian-Alberts University of Kiel (Germany), the GEOMAR Institute (Germany) and the National Ocean Taiwan University (Taiwan). The priority of these centers is oceanographic research and protection of the environment through scientific knowledge.

The first expedition took place between June and July 2015, when we were 10 days surveying the area in two boats, operating a drone to obtain aerial images, and diving to collect sulfur samples. We also conducted work in waters of 1 km depth to assess seawater quality and pollutants.

For the documentary we have two boats, one 80 m research vessel and af 15 m boat for logistics. We will be using drones for aerial filming. We also have expert divers to work in extreme situations to get inside the underwater volcano. On land we have local translators to guide and mine information from the local population, who speaks only traditional Chinese.

How are we going to use your funds?

The aim of this CrowdFunding campaign is to produce the documentary in Spanish and English about the secrets of the Kueishantao volcano. We want to make a documentary in DVD accessible for everybody in the world, and for all ages.

Your contributions are our only way to make this documentary, cover staff costs (support), guides and translators, equipment (4K cameras and drones), production (direction, shooting, editing, DVD), stays/flights/staff transport, permits (access to island and drones), licenses, and boat rental.

To produce in full this documentary we would need 25.000 euros. We have a lot of logistic and scientific support from the German Ministry of Science and Education (BMBF), and in the volcano area we have experts from the National Taiwan Ocean University.

These two institutions cover purely scientific and technology expenses, and they have shown no interest to fund the documentary to show the public. We believe this is a unique opportunity, and thus we will use your generous funds to help produce the DVD and make this product available to the world in Spanish and English language.

The importance of your funds

This documentary and DVD will bring to the public relevant and new information about how life began on Earth, using an innovative and entertaining approach to tell the story. Nowadays, where world economies are nourished by scientific advances, bringing research closer to society is the best possible investment into our own future.

All funds raised above 18.000 euros will be completely donated to research and environmental projects through the Wildblue Foundation.

If donations belong to a legal entity or a person who has the status of entrepreneur or professional, and are made as part of their business (advertising expenditure), they will be a deductible expense in their income tax.


The expedition will take place between March and June 2016 depending on the best weather conditions. After the expedition to the volcano, we will begin the post-production phase that will take us until the end of summer 2016, when we will prepare the documentary and we will deliver the rewards. The official presentation will be at the end of summer 2016.

• Expedition in Spring 2016 (March to June).
• Production from June to August 2016.
• Presentation in Spain in September 2016.
• Sending rewards from September 2016 onwards.
• Travel rewards, Spring 2016 (March to June).
• Extreme fishing trips, September 2016 to September 2017.

Your rewards (details)

OFFICIAL MUG: White mug with the official image of the volcano and a hand-craftet tea-bag original from Taiwan.

OFFICIAL DVD: This is an official DVD copy of the program. The DVD can be viewed in Spanish or English from the main menu.

DOCUMENTARY T-SHIRT: Available in sizes S, M, L and XL, in white color. Available for men short sleeves and for women tank tops.

VOLCANO SAND: Sand made out of circular balls presented in a box with an official label. The sulfur circular sand is very difficult to get because it is inside the volcano. It retains all the original properties of the volcano and the interior of the Earth.

OFFICIAL BACKPACK: A very useful item for your next expedition

VOLCANO SULPHUR ROCK: Mineral presented in its own box with the official label. The sulphur rocks inside a volcano are very difficult to get due to the depths we need to dive. They are remains from the Earth interior. Pure sulfur rocks can be used for collection, or for medical and relaxing treatments. Sulfur is used to combat muscle pain because it absorbs the static electricity in your body.

CANVAS 40x30 and 200x70 cm: Amazing photographic enlargement on canvas placed on a wooden frame. The image of the canvas shows the most spectacular aerial view of the volcano captured by drone, with a high artistic content. It is perfect for your house or office decoration because it transmits positivity and the power of nature.

BRAND VISIBILITY: You would need to ship the items you want us to use while filming to Asturias.

VISIT THE KUEISHANTAO VOLCANO: The stay of five days includes two days of paid hotel (Executive Suites) in downtown Taipei. This will allow you to visit this emblematic city of Taiwan and discover its temples, its culture, and its charming atmosphere The stay also includes two days in a hotel in front of the sea in Keelung City, and 1 full day on a yacht to visit the volcano, the island, take pictures and video, and even snorkel and swim in its waters with therapeutic properties. The volcano tour is 1 day in a group (maximum 4 persons) for the price of this package. If you want an exclusive trip for you alone or with a companion (total 2 people on the yacht), an extra 200 euros will be added.

EXTREME FISHING TRIP: The stay of five days includes all hotel overnight stays and access to fishing boat with professional guide. The price is per person for 5 days. It is almost guaranteed getting black marlin. If the sea was in bad conditions we will mediate for compensation or change of expedition dates and activities.

MAIN SPONSORSHIP: In the event that the video, press conference, and/or any publication appeared in international media outlets, such as Daily Mail UK, The New York Times, The Weather Channel or alike, the price already includes the name of your company in these publications. This sponsorship does not include any rights in case of exploitation of the DVD, or any other product associated with this film, beyond what is described in the reward. If the company was interested in acquiring partial or full rights, you should contact us to discuss the conditions.

International shipping

Who are we?

Dr. Mario Lebrato, project manager and TV presenter, is a Spanish scientist based in Germany where he coordinates research projects worldwide. Mario spent the last year between California, Spain, Madagascar, South Africa, and Taiwan coordinating scientific work and environmental protection projects. Mario works occasionally in the travel industry and expeditions, and he is a drone pilot (he coordinates aerial work in this project). He has published more than 25 scientific papers in the best journals in the world, given over 50 conferences, and he is regular in popular publications and in the media.

Daniel Meana, is a Spanish filmaker and photographer working in audiovisual projects that require the best image quality (4K Ultra HD). Daniel has worked with major companies such as Redbull or TVE and very important people at national and international level, such as dental surgeon Dr. Sidney Kina and Dr. Carlos A. Gonzalez, music producer Carlos Jean, boxer Javier Castillejo, journalist Lara Alvarez, actress Blanca Romero, the audiovisual producer Jim-Box or the artist Corinna Randazo. Daniel works with all types of cameras and extras such as cranes or steadicam Ronin. Daniel manages all land and underwater filming and editing of the documentary.

Cristina Garcia, is the social and networking manager. She is responsible for the overall coordination of the digital aspects of this project and the outreach. Cristina has a long experience in the fashion industry and tourism as an adviser and image consultant.

Prof. Jiang Hwang-Shiou, is the main scientific coordinator and a full professor. He is the most direct contact with the volcano and Taiwan culture, getting permissions, and all the logistics in Taiwan. During the past 15 years he has been awarded more than 10 times for his contributions and has worked in the field of marine biology and environmental conservation. It is a much respected person in Taiwan, very close to the Minister of Science and Education. Prof. Hwang appears in newspapers and TV continuously due to its importance as a scientist.

Dr. Emanuel Soeding , is the manager of the Future Ocean Cluster (Kiel), serving as the executive director of our project, dealing with all aspects beyond science. He ensures that projects are implemented in due time and that the results are as expected. Emanuel has experience in project management for over 15 years.

Dr. Dieter Garbe-Schönberg, is the chief scientist and expert in chemistry of volcanoes. He is our senior scientist, and the one bringing more knowledge into the expedition. Dieter has worked in over 20 underwater volcanoes in his scientific career, sometimes 3 km deep. As a scientist he has published more than 100 papers in the best journals in the world. Dieter coordinates chemistry laboratories in Germany.

Dr. Juan Carlos-Molinero, is a well-known ecologist and marine biologist. He is the person that formalizes all diplomatic relations with Taiwan. He has experience working in the country for over 10 years and knows all the tricks and secrets to conduct a project there.

+ Info

The first images of the video have already been in major media outlets around the world:

• News in The New York Times
• News in Daily Mail UK
• News in The Weather Channel
• News in Hindustan Times

We accumulate more than 1 million visits, more than 3,000 shares, and more than 10,000 likes on Social Media. The scope of this project is huge, and we expect the DVD and program to be even better.

Learn more about us here:

Official website of the documentary
Official website of the Wildblue Foundation
official website of Wildblue Expeditions
Official Website of main scientist and TV presenter Dr. Mario Lebrato
Official website of the filmaker Daniel Meana


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