Hawaiian Volcano Observatory research scientist Don Swanson told the Associated Press on Monday that the lava flow is kind of unusual, and that scientists aren’t sure why the lava lake at the volcano’s summit is spewing so violently at the moment.
While Swanson noted the volcano’s natural beauty -- “it’s quite pretty” he said -- the USGS is still warning tourists to exercise caution, being that one could be horrifically maimed or easily killed by an active volcano.
The Kilauea volcano is located on northern side of the island of Kauai, and is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Currently, the volcano is erupting in two places -- the summit’s Halema‘uma‘u Crater and from Pu‘u ‘O‘o in the volcano’s eastern rift, -- the latter of which is funneling lava into the ocean, according to AP.
“Venturing too close to an ocean entry exposes you to flying debris created by the explosive interaction between lava and water,” the USGS notes on its website, so definitely listen to the experts if you ever find yourself staring down a burbling lake of molten lava.
While the volcano continues to unleash smoldering, red liquid that looks like the Eye of Sauron, take heed of Mother Nature’s warning signs the next time you flock to a tropical paradise. That way you won’t melt.