What on Earth Is This Fiery Blob?


This remarkable blob is a 65- foot (20 meters) high lava dome water fountain that was photographed in Hawaii on Oct. 11,1969

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Credit: USGS

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Initially look, it appears like an intense beast from “The Incredibles.” Or possibly a radiant alien orb, or a giant, inflamed zit turning up above the Earth’s surface area.

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However it’s neither. Rather, it’s an exceptionally uncommon, 65- foot-tall (20 meters) lava-dome water fountain.

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Generally, volcanoes appear lava in effective jets that appear like water fountains gone wild. However in this image– recorded Oct. 11, 1969, in Hawaii– the lava spurted out symmetrically, forming a visually pleasing lava-dome water fountain. [History’s Most Destructive Volcanoes]

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The United States Geological Study (USGS) tweeted the photo on March 29 for Throwback Thursday (#TBT), a popular hashtag utilized when individuals publish classic images from their past on social networks.

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The red-hot lava water fountain definitely is a sentimental minute for the USGS. This specific water fountain became part of the Mauna Ulu eruption, which lasted (on and off) for an impressive 5 years, from May 1969 till July 1974, inning accordance with the USGS.

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Mauna Ulu is a volcanic cone on the east rift zone of the Kilauea volcanoon the Big Island of Hawaii. At the time Mauna Ulu emerged, it was the longest-lasting and most abundant eruption on Kilauea’s eastern side in a minimum of 2,200 years, the USGS stated. The 1,774- day eruption gushed out about 460 million cubic backyards (350 million cubic meters) of lava– adequate to fill 140,000 Olympic-size pool.

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Mauna Ulu not holds the record for the longest-erupting volcano. Pu’u ‘Ō’ ō, a volcanic vent on Kilauea’s east rift zone, has actually emerged almost constantly considering that January 1983, inning accordance with a 2003 report from the USGS. However in spite of Pu’u ‘Ō’ ō’s accomplishment, “the Mauna Ulu eruption was more available to the general public, with a seeing platform developed at one indicate observe a lava lake in the crater,” the USGS stated.

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The water fountain envisioned here gushed out lava from Oct. 10 to Oct. 13, 1969, reasonably early in Mauna Ulu’s legendary eruption. (As a side note, the viewpoint of the image makes it appear the lava were coming out of the water. However it’s in fact on land, and those “waves” are ripples of lava.)

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Usually, lava water fountains happen when gas bubbles quickly form and broaden in molten rock, which triggers jets of lava to spray external, the USGS stated. Though remarkable, Mauna Ulu’s water fountain wasn’t on the huge side; lava water fountains vary from about 30 to 330 feet (10 to 100 m) in height, and some have actually reached the unbelievable height of 1,640 feet (500 m), the USGS reported.

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Geologists have actually discovered that lava water fountains can gush from separated vents and cracks, from active lava lakes and from lava tubes that are exposed to water.

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Initial post on Live Science



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