I remember learning about the Earth’s surface being just a thin crust on an ocean of lava in one of my geology lectures at McMaster University. However, when I saw the newest coastline forming right in front my eyes as the hot lava entered the Pacific Ocean and solidified into brand new crust, I was speechless.
There are some really fascinating places on this planet that make you pause, take a deep breath and think about the bigger picture of life and the universe. The active Volcano at the Big Island in Hawaii is definitely one of those places. We took a helicopter tour to witness the spectacular site of lava flowing from the crater and entering the ocean. It is difficult to describe the magnificent sight when bubbling hot lava with a temperature of over 2000 degrees enter the cold water of the pacific ocean and form huge clouds of white smoke. We also flew over endless lava fields and glowing orange rivers of molten lava.
When you think about the scale at which these seismic activities take place underneath the very ground we stand on, it is both scary and fascinating at the same time. The solid iron core of the earth is constantly heating up the Earth’s inner layers and turning them into lava. All the buildings and civilisations we have ever built are sitting on top of thin continental plates that are floating on top of a giant ocean of lava.
If you visit Hawaii, I would definitely recommend taking the adventurous helicopter tour and witnessing the active volcano. The helicopter can take you to places that are not reachable through land routes due to volatile lava fields near the volcano. Many tours are available from Hilo, Kona ranging from 1 hour to full day tours. During the helicopter tour, you can also witness other hidden treasure of the Big Island such as the beautiful waterfalls and cliffs.