Few sights in nature are as awesome as molten lava pouring into the ocean.
This fearsome yet beautiful process slowly builds islands like Hawaii – arguably the tallest mountain on Earth, thanks to the Kilauea volcano – by rapidly cooling the liquefied rock into new land, throwing up billowing clouds of steam in the process.
Every once in awhile, though, an extra-special phenomenon occurs below these piping-hot clouds: A vortex of steam will rise up from the ocean and merge with the larger plume.
Catching one or two vortices form is rare enough, says Bruce Omori, a native-Hawaiian photographer, but in 2009 he caught at least six drop out of a plume – all at once:
“These vortices form and dissipate so quickly, it’s always a challenge to capture images of them,” Omori told Business Insider in an email. Seeing this many at the same time, he says, was a “once in a lifetime experience.”
Omori saw a similarly exceptional batch of steam tornadoes just two weeks before taking this image, which we first saw at the photography community site 500px. But Omori says he was too gobsmacked to do anything at the time.
“I just stood there, watching… and watching… and watching… until I finally realized that I could’ve shot the scene if I had pulled out my gear!” he says. “Wanted to kick myself for not trying.”
He was determined not to miss the next batch of vortices, if he ever saw such a sight again – and luckily, he did during a hike across the lava fields of Waikupanaha. When he spotted the steam vortices, he quickly pulled out his camera, changed a lens, and captured a few images. “Never saw another like this since,” Omori says, calling the scene “incredible”.
Vortices like these form only if lava steam plumes induce “a spin upon columns of rising air from the heated sea,” Omori says. These columns twist upward and become visible by carrying steam at the water’s surface into the plume.
“[T]hey do not create a lot of sound, although a bit of whirring can be heard if close enough,” Omori says.
- WWE Week in Review: Royal Rumble fallout, Samoa Joe debuts
- How New Zealand made Edmund Hillary, the man who conquered Everest
- Fishing report for week of April 11-17: A 13.8-pound largemouth at Eastman and more
- Fishing report for week of May 16-22
- Fishing report for week of April 25-May 1: Shaver setting up to be ‘angler’s dream’
- Fantasy football roundtable: Are Wentz, Booker, other rookies still worth owning?
- Thursday’s letters: Today is a day to focus on kids’ mental health
- MMQB: Breaking down the frenzied first four days of free agency
- Jimmy G. and the Young QBs
- South Africa vs Australia: Fourth Test preview and prediction
- Rob Manfred is using a bulldozer to fix a leak in baseball’s roof
- Mellinger Minutes: KU & the FBI, Royals & stinking, Vermes & Reid switching jobs & more
- Jim Gordon May Have an Answer to our Energy Problems
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Top 10 NBA Draft picks in franchise history
- NBA: 10 Early-Season Storylines T Keep An Eye On
- Week in Wrestling: The Young Bucks Open Up About 2016; The Year in Review
- Fishing line: Sacramento River sees plenty of stripers and shad
- Ben McAdoo on the Brink, Those Oh-So-Sexy Antonio Brown Dances, Tom Brady is SO MAD!
- Raiders are Scary and Good
- Halftime Heroes: Picking All-NBA Teams At The Season’s Halfway Point
Incredible photo shows hot lava forming tornadoes of steam over the ocean have 557 words, post on www.businessinsider.my at June 12, 2017. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.