Pele’s Kitchen, Pu’u O’o

Located on Hawaii’s Big Island, Pu’u O’o (pronounced “poo-oo oh-oh”) is part of the longest continuously erupting volcano in two hundred years. It has been flowing since January 3, 1983. Pu’u is Hawaiian for cinder cone. O’o has several translations, but Hawaiian legend leads us to believe that here the appropriate choice is “digging stick.” The legend states that Pele, goddess of volcanoes, uses a rod to create each new spout.

Today, some who gaze into the active mouth of Pu’u O’o on the Kilauea volcano from helicopters call the site, “Pele’s Kitchen” in deference to the goddess and what she is creating.

Night time views bring fiery orange glows and sometimes spouts and flows of molten rock. The USGS offers a live panorama of Pu’u O’o at the Kiluaea Cams here. It is an 8-shot composite of Puʻu ʻŌʻō from a research camera on the north rim looking into the crater.

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