The internet can't get enough of this Kilauea 'lava dome fountain' — from 1969

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - You never know what you'll find on social media.

And last week, hundreds of people couldn't help but marvel at an image of Kilauea that's nearly 50 years old.

Their collective reaction boiled down to this: Wow. And for good reason.

The photo, tweeted out by the USGS, shows a rare dome fountain eruption from October 1969.

The dome was a remarkable 65 feet high — that's taller than a six-story building.

"Symmetrical dome fountains such as this are rare," USGS said, on Twitter.

But they do happen. And they can get even bigger.

"Looks like it should be in a Godzilla movie," one Twitter user said.

"This is so cool," another tweeted.

The dome fountain was part of the Mauna Ulu eruption of Kilauea's east rift zone, which started in May 1969 and lasted until July 1974.

At the time, no eruption of Kilauea's flank had lasted longer or spewed out more lava in more than two centuries.

But the Pu'u O'o eruption, which started in 1983 and continues until today, has far surpassed it on both counts.

Still, the Mauna Ulu eruption offered quite a show.

In addition to the lava dome fountain, there were at least a dozen other "fountaining events" in 1969 alone. Those other fountains shot lava high up into the air — as high as 1,700 feet.

"The fountains generally played for several hours," the USGS said, "building slowly to a maximum height and then dying within a few minutes."


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