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Green gems raining from the sky at Kilauea? Well ... not exactly

Updated: Jun. 14, 2018 at 10:06 PM HST
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BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - Many rumors have spawned from the Kilauea eruption: Mauna Loa erupting, fake tsunamis and more.

The latest rumor to make its rounds on social media is green crystals raining down from the sky.

Geologists with the University of Hawaii at Hilo say it is possible, but it's complicated. In this case, most likely untrue.

Here's the issue: The green gems are tiny in size. They're known as olivine. They do form in lava and are often seen during volcanic eruptions.

It's a mineral found in lava, but it doesn't exactly "rain down" from the sky.

"There is not olivine raining from the sky, except in clumps of lava. So if you happen to be where tephra is falling from the sky, there is tiny olivines embedded in it, but you probably aren't going to see them," Cheryl Gansecki of UH Hilo said Thursday.

Gansecki says the green gems seen in this eruption are tiny and do not separate from the lava easily.

She believes the gems seen in photos circulating online are likely from older eruptions.

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