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Costa Rica-One of The Most Amazing Thing Is A Volcanic Eruption of Melting Rock in Costa Rica

Updated on June 15, 2016

Volcano Eruption and Melting Rock in Costa Rica

The Most Amazing Thing Is A Volcanic Eruption of Melting Rock in Costa Rica. A volcano eruption in Costa Rica is a truly mesmerizing, melting rock flows from high above slowly moving downward. I have had several opportunities to witness this phenomenon. As a science teacher with an understanding of how matter can change in form it was a powerful experience. Of course I have seen the traditional experiments where water goes through metamorphic change in the never ending cycle of solid, liquid and vapor. I watched as metamorphic rock rose to the top of a volcano, spewing itself into the air as a glowing liquid. Melted rock then transforming to vapor and finally making its way past me as a semi-solid rock to finally a solid. Solid rock is a familiar sight, I had seen pictures of lava, but had never been so close as to feel the heat radiate toward me.

My first experience was on the Big Island of Hawaii, Volcano Mauna Loa was in a 3 week eruption phase. A friend who was born and raised in Maui was anxious to show me first hand. I walked near the waters edge where the lava flowed as melted rock making it's way to the ocean. As it flowed down from the volcano it created a black and orange show. Once reaching the water it sizzled and steamed as it cooled itself as my friend said "making more real estate". Later we took a ride over the volcano, however the smoke was so thick the pilot brought us back to the airport. Later that day we heard that the smoke had impaired the vision of another pilot forcing him into the mountains near it killing everyone aboard.

Later during my stay which was on Maui we visited the Haleakala Crater, a volcano which is still considered active. We went early in the morning to witness the sun rise over the crater. Another amazing sight. We also visited the area where the side of the mountainous terrain was covered with ancient lava rock. The goddess Pele is said to watch over the rock and anyone attempting to remove it will be cursed with bad fortune. So we left them where they belonged.

photo courtesy of

Volcanoes & Earthquakes (DK Eyewitness Books)
Volcanoes & Earthquakes (DK Eyewitness Books)

This Eyewitness book about volcanoes and earthquakes will entertain you little scientist and answer question about natural phenomenom.


The Active Volcano Arenal

Costa Rica

Melted Rock in Costa Rica - The Arenal Volcano

I spent two summers in Hawaii during the 1980's and enjoyed watching the volcanoes every time I could see them. During the summer of 2007 I studied Spanish in Costa Rica. Part of the experience took us to visit many of the sites and attractions. The most intriguing one for me was the Arenal Volcano. We left early in the morning to the volcano on a rainy day in Costa Rica. When we finally made our way to the site, clouds covered the area making it impossible to see.

I was struck by the proximity of the volcano to the hotels and homes built intentionally near it. Many people come to witness the eruptions of Arenal and stay too close for comfort for me. Since the volcano was not visible our tour guide took us to the hot springs. There we sat in the carved out rock tubs heated by the molten rock from the volcano underneath the tubs. It was a luxury I would like to repeat some day.

After the soaking was done, we were taken back to the volcano. It was now in full view and putting on it's familiar show. It was spewing melted lava rock from it's magna chamber along with smoke, gas and ash. A sight to be seen. Although we were not allowed to get close to it the show was especially entertaining.

Arenal Eruption

Volcanic Lightening in Iceland

Volcanic Lightening in Iceland
Volcanic Lightening in Iceland

The Lava as it's Outer Edges Cool

Night Makes Lava Glow

Hawaii Volcanic Eruption

From melted rock to harden rock it forms a unique black form resembling charcoal. The texture of the rock is light and airy with a visible formation of bubbles caused by trapped gases. The cooled pieces of lava rock are abrasive and sharp and walking on it after it cools can be hazardous. The sharp edges are razor sharp able to cut through the soles of your shoes and if you are not careful portions of it remain hot enough to melt your shoes.

The air surrounding the cooling melted rock is pungent with gas and should not be breathed in due to it's chemical composition. I can cause irritation to the skin, a sore throat, irritation to the eyes, and can be deadly in prolonged exposures.

If you get the chance to see and active volcano you will never forget the intensity and power it produces. The color of the flowing lava will create memories to last a lifetime. Although you may want to see it again.

Pahoehoe Lava, Hawaii

Pahoehoe Lava, Hawaii
Pahoehoe Lava, Hawaii

Hawaii Lava Flowing into the Pacific Ocean

Hawaii Lava Flowing into the Pacific Ocean
Hawaii Lava Flowing into the Pacific Ocean

Smithsonian Glow in the Dark Volcano Kit

Smithsonian Institution Glow in the Dark 14" Volcano
Smithsonian Institution Glow in the Dark 14" Volcano

Build and erupt this glow in the dark 14 inch volcano to study 6 different types of volcanoes. This kit will amaze children and adults alike .


Your Thoughts are Important

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Tell us about your experiences with melted rock and volcanoes.

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      When we visited Costa Rica, Arenal was puffing away ... within 5 days of returning home, it exploded! Sorry we missed it ... it is beautiful to behold.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I love to study volcanoes, and very much appreciate this lens.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      5 years ago from Ljubljana

      I don't have experience with volcanoes... I bet watching something like that stays in your memory forever!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      So far, the only erupting volcano I've seen is Mt. Yasur, on Tanna Island, Vanuatu. One day, would love to get to Iceland and Hawaii.

    • Socialpro54 LM profile image

      Socialpro54 LM 

      5 years ago

      Amazing photos!

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Amazing.... volcanoes are so powerful and beautiful to watch from a safe distance :)

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      5 years ago

      What a marvelous experience, to be right there and hear the sounds, see the sights and smell the smells of the burning hot rock.

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 

      5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      Amazing images! I would love to see an active volcano in person some day. Well done lens. (BTW - Congrats on your recent retirement!)

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 

      5 years ago from Albany New York

      I've only seen volcanoes on television. I enjoyed reading your personal experience and feelings when being close to volcano activity.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Amazing photos!


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