Item No. 2083
For the longest time I remembered hearing about the black sand beaches of Hawaii and finally had the opportunity to visit Waianapanapa Beach on Mauis Hana Highway.
Each cove was a new adventure with lava tubes you can walk through to the waters edge, cave pools with clear fresh water and a red sand cove protected by a lava breakwater.
When lava contacts water, it cools rapidly and shatters into sand.
A large lava flow entering an ocean may produce enough basalt fragments to build a new black sand beach almost overnight.
The famous black sand beaches of Hawaii, were created virtually instantaneously by these violent interactions between hot lava and sea water.
Since black sand beaches are made by one-time lava flow events they can be short lived if currents or storms wash the sand out into deep water.
For this reason the state of Hawaii has made it illegal to remove black sand from its beaches.