Those ropes and signs at National Parks that people seem so eager to disobey are there for good reason. If you don’t believe us, just check out these photos and video that show the dangers of stepping outside the designated viewing area at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
Just a little over a month after a massive New Years Eve collapse of the lava delta at this same location—the 61G lava Ocean Entry—closed the viewing area temporarily, a tourist captured another massive collapse on camera. Check out the video above, captured four days ago by Russell Fry while on a boat with Lava Ocean Tours.
Of course, that’s a ways away from viewers. For something a bit closer to the ropes, look at these two photographs posted by the US Geological Survey (USGS):
“Just below the left side of the steam cloud, a small shelf of the Kamokuna lava delta that survived the New Year’s Eve collapse can be seen,” writes USGS about the photo. “Within minutes of HVO geologists reaching the ocean entry site, the sea cliff seaward of the hot crack (see Jan. 30 images) collapsed with no warning; fortunately, they were far enough away to not be in harm’s way.”
The top photo was taken just before the collapse, the bottom shows what was left after. That tripod sitting just feet from the massive crack is… telling.
So if you’re interested in going to the 61G lava flow and ocean entry—and you should, it looks like an incredible sight and photo opportunity you don’t want to miss—stay inside the rope lines! Those signs aren’t just “guidelines.” If you get caught on the wrong side of the rules at a National Park, you could get a fine and some jail time… or you could die.
Image credits: Photograph by the United States Geological Survey (USGS)