Mental Floss

A Lava Stream Is Pouring into the Ocean in Hawaii

Shaunacy Ferro
USGS // Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
USGS // Hawaiian Volcano Observatory / USGS // Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

A Hawaiian volcano is sending a "firehose" of lava into the sea, as Gizmodo reports, and it makes quite the impressive sight. The USGS captured photos and video of the dangerous battle between salt water and molten lava from the Kīlauea Volcano.

The sediment you can see in the spray is black sand. According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, “as lava streams into the ocean, explosive interactions between the molten lava and cool seawater hurl spatter and rock fragments skyward.” These fragments can reach the top of the sea cliff, around 92 feet above sea level.

The lava stream has been narrowing since January 28, so it's probably no longer as impressive it was when this video was taken. Kīlauea, the most active volcano on the island of Hawaii, has been erupting since 1983, but its lava only reaches the ocean every few years, making this a sight to behold. Watch it from a safe distance:

[h/t Gizmodo]