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Hawaii's Big Island is home to some of the world's most active volcanoes. However, none are as dynamic or spectacular as the Kilauea, which has been erupting almost nonstop since 1983. However, its recent explosion was so large that for the first time ever, the lava has made a seven-mile journey right into the ocean, making for some stunning visuals!
Though the lava began to edge toward the ocean on October 29th it was not until November 25th, that it made its first entry into the water. Not surprisingly, the amazing phenomenon is attracting thousands of visitors to the area. While not dangerous, authorities are warning tourists to watch the spectacle from a safe distance. That's because while lava entering the water may look quite benign, it could be dangerous - not just because of the gas emitted, but also, because the crashing waves intersecting with the hot lava could spew out scalding water and even, tiny particles of volcanic glass.
Given the amazing spews Kilauea has had for decades, it is almost impossible to believe that it was once not even classified as a stand-alone volcano, but instead, thought to be an offshoot of its bigger neighbor. Fortunately, further research revealed that it is indeed a full-fledged volcano - one with its own magma-plumbing system that extends more than 60km below the earth's surface.
Similar to all of Hawaii's volcanoes, this one too has an interesting legend. According to ancient Hawaiian folklore Kilauea, which means spewing or much spreading in the local language, is the home of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess. Believed to be born in Tahiti, she was one of six girls and seven boys born to the earth goddess.
According to the legend, Pele was exiled by her father, the creator of the Universe, and shipped off to Hawaii. Once here, she created havoc in all the islands, digging fire pits and creating volcanoes. Her sister finally caught up with her and killed her in an epic battle near Hana, on the Hawaiian Island of Maui.
After her death, Pele dug her final and eternal pit on the Big Island of Hawaii, at the summit of the Kilauea Volcano. The locals who worship her as a goddess, believe that she still resides here and often come with offerings to appease her. Pele, in turn shows her appreciation by putting on some spectacular lava shows, making it a win-win situation for both!