The Kilauea volcano has been active since 1983, and in May of 2016, the lava began creeping its way into the ocean. Its slow-moving flow of lava finally reached the ocean in late July of 2016, transforming into a beaming smile. CNN offered up a film crew in a helicopter to capture the moment on camera and recorded this adorable face looking back at them.
Sitting comfortably on the Southernmost part of the island of Hawai’i, the lava flowing into the sea is hardening into rock. Bit by bit, it is expanding the size of the island, ensuring that it remains the largest island in the chain. The volcano is also the youngest of them all and is currently the world’s most active volcano. It lost its lava lake back in 1924, but has been steadily adding to the Hawai’ian coastline for the past 33 years.
They weren’t sure what they would find when they flew over the active volcano, but seeing the smile, they knew that they had something special on their hands! The film crew was excited to report back and let the public know about what they had found.
This isn’t the first time that scientists have discovered a “happy” landmark, either. When the Mars Orbiter Camera found the Galle Crater on the Red Planet in 1999, NASA gave it the nickname “Happy Face Crater.” It’s a huge crater that has a diameter of 134 miles…and an adorable happy face! Nature can be pretty awesome, sometimes! Look at those smiles!