When we say, "Check out this lava tube!", are we talking about a hollow cylinder that carries molten rock?
Or are we talking about the latest viral sensation, a web channel carrying nothing but highlights of volcano eruptions?
Would you believe a little bit of both?
Happy Plume Year!
On New Year's Eve, a section of a cliff in Hawaii's Volcanoes National Park broke off and collapsed into the sea. This is a part of the Kilauea volcano, which is on the south side of the island of Hawaii. When this happened, it exposed the volcano's ooey-gooey insides. Like when you break open a cream egg... if that egg was filled with lava! Here's the day that it happened.
Immediately a fierce plume of molten rock sprayed out into the water below. Giant clouds of steam rose into the air as the lava evaporated litres of ocean water on contact. It even created explosions, sending hot rock flying back into the cliff. And it DID. NOT. STOP.
Day after day, the incredible display of lava meeting water was steady and strong. And the US Geological Survey (USGS) was there to track and record it all. Meaning that we in the world of the internet got some very cool (hot?) footage (such as this video from the Wall Street Journal).
Because it's difficult to get perspective, that pouring lava was about 21 metres (70 feet) high, about the height of a seven-storey building.
Is the show over?
Thinking of making a trip down to Hawaii yourself for a boat tour of this lava tube? Sorry to say, but on February 2nd, the cliff collapsed further... and blocked the lava tube in the process. Easy come, easy go, we suppose.
So show's over, folks. For now, at least. Because when it comes to active volcanoes like Kilauea, the show never actually stops. It just takes a brief break. Like in between seasons of your favourite program. And when does Season 2 of LavaTube begin?
We haven't heard, but you can bet that we're just as excited for the premiere as you are!
THIS JUST IN! Literally as we were writing this post, a new lava tube opened up. Season 2 of LavaTube is here... NOW!
— USGS Volcanoes (@USGSVolcanoes) February 6, 2017