Stand-up comedian Ed Byrne has joined forces with the University to narrate a cartoon which explains a range of geological concepts. Part of the Oxford Sparks series, which allows students, teachers, parents and the public to get involved with science taking place across Oxford, the video takes viewers deep beneath the ocean to find out how volcanoes work.

Byrne assumes the role of Hank, a computer, which controls a mini-submarine and directs it through rock structures below the surface of the Earth. Byrne explained: “It isn’t every day that Oxford University asks you to play a rogue computer piloting a submarine inside an exploding volcano, so I couldn’t resist.... I like the idea that by watching everything going wrong... you’re actually learning something about how volcanoes are made deep beneath the ocean.”

The video, animated by Cambridge graduate Karen Cheung, is the fourth in a series that makes University work accessible to the public. Prof David Pyle, from the Department of Earth Sciences and lead scientific adviser on the project, explained that he was “'delighted with the way that Karen Cheung has captured both what rocks actually look like when we look at them under a microscope.”

The videos are complemented by a wide range of resources, including videos, activities, mobile phone apps, games, podcasts and virtual tours. You can watch the video below, or see more content from Oxford Sparks on its website.