It's May 18th, 1980. Like so often in the past weeks, Robert Landsberg is documenting the small eruptions of Mt St Helens. But this morning is different.

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Image series by The Atlantic

When the volcano explodes with the force of 500 atomic bombs, Landsberg realises there is not enough time to get away.

He keeps on taking photographs and then shields the rolls of film with his own body. His body and photographs are found 17 days later.

The eruption of Mt. St. Helens killed 57 people and destroyed the landscape.

The volcano also sent 10 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. But where did all that carbon come from?