We continue the series of Hawaii in Contrasts with a visit to Hawaii’s Big Island. As you probably know, all the Hawaiian Islands were formed from volcanic eruptions. The Big Island is the only Hawaiian island that still has an active volcanic eruption. In fact, Hawaii’s Big Island continues to grow in land mass as lave flows to the ocean. A visit to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will show you how lava covered and newly formed land looks. The photo below shows acres of lava covered land and a volcanic crater. Notice that there’s very little vegetation.
Now, contrast that vast expanse of nearly lifeless lava with the jungle photo (below) that was taken less than fifty miles away from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at Akaka Falls State Park. This lush rainforest area is teeming with hapu’u ferns, bamboo, and vines of all kinds. What’s so fascinating to me is that, hundreds or thousands of years ago, this lush jungle scene once looked similar to the acres of hardened lava in the top photo.
That’s quite a contrast, isn’t it?