An astounding video of a 'lava boat' in Hawaii shows a river of hot lava tearing off a huge chunk of rock

  • Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano continues to erupt, spewing lava and ash onto Hawaii’s Big Island.
  • A video posted on Thursday shows a phenomenon that geologists are calling a “lava boat.”
  • In the video (embedded below), a river of lava breaks off a massive chunk of rock.

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is continuing to erupt, with lava gushing through a swath of Hawaii’s Big Island and pouring into the Pacific Ocean.

The volcano, which has been slowly and continuously erupting for decades, entered a new, more violent eruption phase in May.

Thousands of residents were forced to evacuate following a series of eruptions, and hundreds of homes, offices, and other structures have been damaged around the Big Island.

Beyond the immediate fire danger from the lava, high levels of sulphur dioxide spewing from the volcano pose a serious threat to children, elderly people, and people with respiratory issues. The ongoing eruptions have affected Hawaii’s tourism-driven economy and are transforming large swaths of the island’s normally lush landscape.

But despite the dangers, the volcanic eruption can also be savagely beautiful at times – and a cornucopia of phenomena for geologists and volcanologists to study.

A video posted Thursday on Twitter by Mileka Lincoln, a Hawaii News Now reporter, shows a rare phenomenon that the United States Geological Survey is calling a “lava boat.”

In the video, a fast-moving river of lava breaks off a massive chunk of rock, which then floats down the lava river before breaking apart.

Check out the video below – the rock breaks about 40 seconds in.

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