Did you hear about the scientists living in the volcano, eating Spam? No, this isn't the setup for a bad joke. This is positively legitimate.

Six NASA scientists are literally living inside an isolated geodesic dome on the Big Island's Mauna Loa volcano and they're not just there for an overnight stay- they've hunkered down and are planning to hang out there for eight months.

According to Hawaii News Now, the reason the scientists are living in the volcano is because they want to study what human behavior would be like for long-term space travel. They want to research any psychological problems that people might have for being isolated and confined for a good amount of time.

For the eight months that the scientists are in the volcano, they won't be able to have any physical contact with the outside world and get this- when they place a call, there will be a 20-minute delay in communications. The reason? 20 minutes is how long it would take an email to reach Earth from Mars.

Whenever the scientists need to leave the dome compound inside the volcano, they'll have to put on a spacesuit- even to do something as menial as looking at rocks.They'll also be eating the same type of food that those traveling for long periods of time in space would eat- freeze-dried foods and Spam.

In case you're wondering- the Hawaii National Park Service says that the volcano is still considered to be an active volcano. Also, this isn't the first time that scientists have lived on it. According to the Daily Mail, scientists from NASA's Hi-Seas project conducted the same type of research under the same kind of conditions in 2015.

[via Hawaii News Now/Hawaii National Park Service/Daily Mail]