Home is where the tube is

A lava tube that used to be home to early Hawaiians
A sign in front of a lava tube that used to be home to early Hawaiians

The public parking area for shoreline access at Mauna Lani is some distance from the ocean. From the parking lot, the trail meanders across some old lava, but off to one side is this interesting little spot.

It’s part of an old lava tube that was used as a shelter by early Hawaiians. Lava tubes are created when lava flows crust over on top, creating an insulated tube that lava continues to flow through. When an eruption ends and the supply of lava disappears, the lava drains out of the tunnel it’s been flowing through and a hollow tube is left.

As the sign at the entrance says, the tube would have been cool during the heat of the day, but would also protect from wind and rain. These days, the floor is strewn with rocks, but when used for habitation, any rocks would have been removed leaving a reasonably smooth floor. In the photos, the ceiling looks low, but I’m over six feet tall and didn’t have to duck. It’s a big area.

The top photo shows the entrance taken from the back of the tube. The bottom photo is taken from the entrance, looking toward the back.

A lava tube that used to be home to early Hawaiians

2 thoughts on “Home is where the tube is

    1. Graham Post author

      No signs anymore, but another sign at the entrance says ‘Archaeologists have pieced together a story of Hawaiian prehistoric life from the ash, shells, wood fiber and stone found here.’ These things were found under the current floor of the cave.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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