I Lava Your Smile

Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, greeted some lucky volcano watchers with a smile last week, as a lava lake in Hawaii’sย Kilauea volcano broke into a series of cracks that looked like a geothermalย grin. See it in the video below, and stick around for more breathtaking views as the lava flow hits the ocean.

The submission gods are pleased with your offering, Andrew Y.

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28 thoughts on “I Lava Your Smile

  1. allein ๐Ÿพ August 2, 2016 / 8:49 am

    Can I just say how much I love the phrase “geothermal grin”?


    • 6rabbits August 2, 2016 / 10:45 am


    • SoccerSue August 2, 2016 / 12:14 pm

      That’s another one that would be a great band name! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. allein ๐Ÿพ August 2, 2016 / 9:11 am

    (Also, on a side note, and not that I am encouraging this sort of deceptive practice or anything, but you can upvote a post more than once if you do it from different devices. Like, say, on your tablet and then on your computer at work. Or so it would seem.)

    • Murray C. August 2, 2016 / 9:35 am

      Been doing that from time to time๐Ÿ˜š

      This is stunning. Imagine what ancient peoples thought when coming on such a scene.
      And I loved the music.

      • allein ๐Ÿพ August 2, 2016 / 9:37 am


        I couldn’t hear the music. Guess I’ll have to watch again.

        • Murray C. August 2, 2016 / 9:40 am

          I love that word, “shenanigans” – maybe I’ll change my last name.๐Ÿ˜„

          • allein ๐Ÿพ August 2, 2016 / 9:43 am

            It’s a good word.

          • Smartypants August 2, 2016 / 9:56 am

            That, and ‘malarkey’ ๐Ÿ˜€

            • Murray C. August 2, 2016 / 9:58 am

              I had a classmate in grade school with that last name.

            • allein ๐Ÿพ August 2, 2016 / 10:01 am

              A while back there was one of those “I went to heaven and lived to tell the tale” books, about a kid who was in an accident and blah blah. The book was mostly by his dad. The kid later said it wasn’t true and he basically just said it for attention or whatever (he was pretty young at the time so I don’t really blame him). Anyway, their last name is Malarkey. I first saw the book on a display in the grocery store and I thought it had to be a parody with that name. Alas, no.

              • Murray C. August 2, 2016 / 10:12 am

                Life imitates art?

              • Smartypants August 2, 2016 / 10:52 am

                Oh, yes, I remember that – I agree, I sympathize with the kid.

  3. Emmberrann August 2, 2016 / 9:15 am

    Pele, thank you for favoring us. I think.

  4. Phred's Mom August 2, 2016 / 9:31 am

    I don’t know whether to admire the bravery or decry the foolishness of those peeps
    on the tufa by the lava flow. I guess I envy their chutzpah, if I’m to be honest.

    • 6rabbits August 2, 2016 / 10:43 am

      I know! “Do you not SEE the this-is-as-far-as-you-go-unless-you-want-to-be-boiled-shrimp safety ropes!?!”๐Ÿ˜ณ

  5. Smartypants August 2, 2016 / 9:55 am

    “Smile all you want, I’m still not jumping in!”

    • allein ๐Ÿพ August 2, 2016 / 9:56 am

      It does look a tad sinister, doesn’t it? But somehow kinda goofy at the same time…

      • Smartypants August 2, 2016 / 10:53 am

        Yes, reminds me of a jack-o-lantern.

  6. tagathax August 2, 2016 / 10:27 am

    This looks awesome, but… there are actually people standing right next to the lava flow?!? I’m sure the view is one of a kind but as I’m pretty much the clumsiest person alive, I’d be diving head first into the volcano (or the sea) sooner rather than later. *sigh*

    • Saffron August 2, 2016 / 11:02 am

      Someone needs to tell Rick and TC to fire up the helicopter and rescue them.

      • Ilonka August 2, 2016 / 11:46 am


      • Kar August 3, 2016 / 11:05 pm

        Don’t forget the lads, Apollo and Zeus. And bring back an orchid for Agnes.

        That smile looks familiar though.

  7. AJ August 2, 2016 / 11:37 am

    Love this! And I’ll be viewing this in person in about 3 months, can’t wait. And yes, we will be doing the “hottest helicopter tour” on earth – doors off over Volcano National Park – should be awesome! And I agree, don’t those idiots see the rope saying this is as far as you go, you shall not pass??? And like Tagathax, I’m the queen of the klutzes so I’d be in the ocean or the volcano right behind her. Guess Pele needs new sacrifices, lol.

    • Smartypants August 2, 2016 / 12:06 pm

      No way – cool! That sounds like a great time. Bring back pix?

      • AJ August 2, 2016 / 12:25 pm

        Oh defininately! Hubby is bringing his good camera (Canon, Nikkon??, one of those) plus his camcorder plus I think you can buy a DVD from the tour company. This trip has been about 15 years in the making and we’re doing a cruise that hits all the islands so we’ll get a good overview. This way on our next trip we’ll know a little better what island we want to explore in depth.

        • Murray C. August 2, 2016 / 1:32 pm

          Congrats! I commend your bravery – I wouldn’t last two minutes in a helicopter – I can barely fly in a big plane – motion sick at the drop of a hat. I hope it’s fantastic for you and we’ll look forward to a full report!๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. allein ๐Ÿพ August 4, 2016 / 8:54 am

    This was just posted on another blog I read, and he gave a scientific explanation for why this happens, if anyone’s interested.

    As a lava lake circulates, lava upwelling and downwelling will occur on opposite sides of the lake, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. This often results in a spattering of molten lava, which creates bright spots on the dark-colored, semi-solid lake surface. Circulation can also cause sections of the surface to pull apart, revealing the lava beneath and creating lines.

    By chance, these processes occurred in a pattern that created the smiling image, [USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Janet] Babb said.

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