A Volcano Erupts
Mark Twain in 1866 hiked through Kilauea Crater and wrote about a lake of molten lava:
"It was like gazing at the sun at noon-day, except that the glare was not quite so white. At unequal distances all around the shores of the lake were nearly white-hot chimneys or hollow drums of lava, four or five feet high, and up through them were bursting gorgeous sprays of lava-gouts and gem spangles, some white, some red and some golden--a ceaseless bombardment, and one that fascinated the eye with its unapproachable splendor."
Until 2008 anyone could walk here, the crater floor. In the background is the smaller Halema'uma'u crater. Until recently one could eat lunch or spend the night at Volcano House on the rim of Kilauea Crater. Today no one is allowed on the crater floor, Volcano House is shut down, and Halema'uma'u Crater looks like this.
The crater has again become a lava lake, and steam isues constantly. At night an orange glow is visible from Jaggar Museum.
Former location of the Kalapana subdivision, now covered with miles of lava. In the background clouds ominously hover over Kilauea.
Humans fear them, but volcanoes are not all fire and destruction. Their heat created the Hawaiian islands, along with wonders like the Punaluu black sand beach. The continents were formed and transported by Earth's internal heat. Life on Earth may have began in undersea vents warmed by volcanic heat.
Humans fear Black Holes, but our planet and solar system may be the result of a tiny Black Hole drawing dust to it. Without a Black Hole, scientists have difficulty explaining how Earth formed at all. Though still smaller than a grain of black sand, it continues to produce the heat that forms islands and continents. The magnetic field produced by the Black Hole's rotation guides compass needles and protects Earth from harmful radiation.
Here at Punaluu evidence for the Black Hole is right at our feet. The volcanic sand with its high iron content must originate deep within the Earth, from the hot plume that built the islands. Old theories of "radioactive decay" would fill these sands with radionucleides, but few such elements are present. Radioactive elements are only common in Earth's crust, where they arrived via meteorites. The core's heat must originate with something even more powerful than nuclear radiation, the heat from a tiny Black Hole.
Two fearsome phenomena may be related, the volcano's heat originating in a Black Hole. Both are subjects of fear and wonder. Humans may speculate for centuries before figuring out the relation. They are both part of the unapproachable splendor that Mark Twain marvelled at.