Hawaiian residents have been dealing with the fallout of an angry volcano ever since Kilauea began erupting on May 3. Sometimes the mount spewed hot fire, endangered citizens. But right now, it’s also spewing green crystals.
These stones are known as olivine crystals. They’re common minerals found the world over, and seeing them in Hawaii is nothing out of the ordinary. Finding them because of a volcanic eruption, however, is something that doesn’t happen every day.
According to geologists at the University of Hawaii, the crystals are carried along with lava out of the volcano and into the sky. Some of that lava instantly cools in the air. When that happens, it turns into a rock known as pumice. The transformation is so sudden that gases are trapped within the pumice and force their way out, leaving the rock lighter and full of holes. From these holes, olivine rains over the island.
As far as silver linings go, getting littered with shiny, harmless green crystals is pretty good. But the island of Hawaii, one of the five islands that make up the state, has been sent through the ringer with the explosion of Kilauea now stretching well into its second month.
Kilauea has been an influential force on Hawaiian history, continually changing the nature of the island. Now Hawaiians wish it would take a break.