Hawaii is an amazing place. For many reasons. The sun, the beaches, the turtles, the pineapples, the luaus, the friendly people, the golf courses. But what is perhaps even more amazing is that the whole chain of islands was created by volcanoes.
I had the chance during my trip to the Big Island to learn more about the Hawaiian volcanoes, especially when I visited the Jaggar Museum in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where Kilauea is currently erupting. The islands were in fact all created by what is called a hot spot. Now, I’m not a geologist and I won’t pretend to be one, but from my understanding, a hotspot is an extremely hot volcanic region from which volcanoes feed, sort of. And the Hawaiian Islands were created, and are still being created, by this particular hotspot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Currently, the Islands are moving north, away from the hotspot, and the Big Island, the southernmost one, is currently growing. And someday, we will probably see another island peeking above the ocean. Well, we won’t see it obviously. But in a few thousand years, they will. Because all of this is happening very slowly.
That being said, Kilauea is continuously erupting, and I had the chance to take a helicopter tour that brought us right over the volcano. We didn’t fly above the main caldera (crater), but we flew over a secondary crater, and it was pretty spectacular. Unfortunately, while this is visually spectacular, it is also really sad because some people lost their homes to the flowing lava. Fortunately though, the lava flow is quite slow, so people have time to evacuate before it is too late.
Have you been to the Big Island? Have you visited the volcanoes park? How was your experience?