Fiery lava bubble Hawaii photo goes viral nearly 50 years after its capture.

On May 24, 1969, a volcano on the Hawaiian Islands erupted and it spewed lava for more than five years.

The Mauna Ulu or “growing mountain” eruption lasted 1,774 days, until the summer of 1974. At the time, it was the longest eruption from Kilauea in at least 2,000 years. It created a new landscape surrounding the volcano and resulted in the formation of a symmetrical dome fountain, which was featured in a historic photo recently shared by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Usually lava explodes in a sporadic and chaotic manner, but photos show the magma erupting from Kilauea in a dome shape — one of the rarest types of lava fountain possible, according to the USGS.

The photos of the dome were taken in October 1969. USGS said that the dome of lava in the picture reached a height of about 20 metres, but their records indicate that it could have reached a potential height of 75 metres.

In the foreground is cooled lava, not the ocean.

The Manua Ulu eruption also showcased other forms of lava expulsion, including a more traditional spout that reached heights of up to 220 metres. The “lava falls” saw magma flowing 100 metres down over the Alae Crater. This is almost twice the height of Niagara Falls.

Kilauea is still an active volcano. In 1983 the Pu’u ‘O’o eruption began. It is still active and continues to spout out lava explosions.


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