Too close for comfort: Kilauea
Don’t steal from the goddess
Legend has is that whoever dares to take a rock from the Volcanoes National Park (or from any place on the island) will be cursed by the goddess Pele. Many of these rocks are usually returned by post!
Mauna Loa covers over half the surface of Hawaii and holds the record for being the largest volcano in the world with a surface area of 5,271 km2 and an approximate height of 17,000 metres, including its submerged part. Although its last recorded eruption was in 1984, it’s part of the Decade Volcano programme, which is focused on the study of the most dangerous active volcanoes.
Mars on Hawaii
Six researchers from NASA stayed for 120 days in a module on the Mauna Loa volcano. Their mission was to simulate the extreme conditions of a stay on the red planet.
Its outbursts of anger, according to natives, are the consquence of the mood changes of the goddess of fire, Pele. However, its violent character seems to have calmed down recently in comparison to the behaviour of most active volcanoes. Without any explosions, or clouds of toxic gases, locals can climb the volvano in order to pay their respects and make offerings to the goddess. Its eruptions are minor and most of the lava tubes empty into the Pacific, lighting up the ocean. A unique spectacle, one for which we must give thanks or ‘mahalo’ as thay say in Hawaii.