Since Hawaii’s Kilauea began erupting on May 3, the list of threats has seemed endless with lava tides, volcanic smog, lava haze, lava fountains, shards of glass in the wind, ash clouds, and a geothermal plant inundated with lava. Now, however, residents are noticing something a little more pleasant from the eruption: green crystals. Yes the Kilauea volcano is literally erupting green GEMS.
Embedded in the lava still spewing some 130 feet into the air from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano are green crystals. Called olivine, these minerals can turn Hawaiian beaches green, and it appears some of the green gems are raining down upon homes near the eruption or popping up near lava flows.
“Yes, the lava that is erupting now is very crystal-rich and it is quite possible that residents might be finding olivine. It can be carried in the pumice [rapidly cooled lava] pieces that have been rained all over the area or left behind when weaker lava rocks are crushed by cars or foot traffic, ” explained Cheryl Gansecki.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Wendy Stovall said the phenomenon is to be expected. She said: “It’s pretty common. There’s often olivine in rocks all over Hawaii.”