The Kilauea Iki pit crater sits mostly dormant, carved out of the main Kilauea summit caldera on the island of Hawaii. As recent as 1959, this crater was filled with molten hot liquid magma for more than two months. At that time, the earth spewed forth lava fountains reaching nearly 1,900 feet high. This activity created a lava lake three feet deep that filled and drained several times with over 70 million cubic meters of lava. When the draining happened, the entire lava lake literally turned into a giant whirlpool.
Today, visitors can walk across that same space, which sits solidly save a few steam vents and fumaroles that puff tauntingly into the sky. So many have traversed the crater in fact, that even from the distant overlook one can make out well-trodden footpaths.