Waikiki’s iconic Diamond Head is seen from above in this overhead shot from contributor Carolyn Mangler. Typically seen, and pictured, from the shores of Honolulu, this overhead view reveals Diamond Head to be not a small outcrop of mountain, but the full-circled remains of a volcanic cone.
Called Lēʻahi in the Hawaiian language, Diamond Head is one of several cones in the greater Honolulu Volcanic Series. In geologic terms, it is a baby compared to the rest of the island of Oahu, being “born” around only 150,000 years ago–as compared to 2.6 million years ago for the rest of the area. Lēʻahi’s birth is thought to have been extremely fast and powerful, taking only a couple of days from beginning to end, helping to give the cone its symmetry.
We love this view for the emotion that often comes with it–the excitement of arriving on Oahu, or the adventure of departing. This monument acts as a sentry to the island, both welcoming and well-wishing visitors and maoli.