This photo shows a rare symmetrical 65-foot tall dome of lava

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This photo shows a rare symmetrical 65-foot tall dome of lava

Volcano eruptions are impressive and photogenic, as we’ve seen many times before. But a very unusual and spectacular photo was recently shared on United States Geological Survey’s Twitter page. It shows a lava dome rising up to 65 feet (20m), and it looks like a scene from a sci-fi movie.

As USGS writes, this photo shows an eruption of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii and it was captured between 10 and 13 October 1969. The amazing “fireball” we see is a formation called “dome fountain.” According to USGS, symmetrical dome fountains like this are rare. This particular one is 65 feet (20m) high, but according to another photo on USGS’s website, it’s possible that it reached as much as 245 feet (75m). To compare, it’s approximately like a 22-story building.

Credits: U.S. Geological Survey / J. B. Judd

Many people (including myself) were wondering why there is no steam in the photo because it looks like the volcano is surrounded by water. However, the foreground isn’t water, but cooled lava.

[via PetaPixel, image credits: U.S. Geological Survey]

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