Lava is a force of destruction as well as rebirth. Its extreme temperatures as it leeches out of the Earth — sometimes more than 10 times hotter  than boiling water — destroy everything in its path, but pave the way for new growth.

A stunning video by scientist and filmmaker Tyler Hulett on National Geographic  shows lava in action after it ejects from Kīlauea, in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. “As Kīlauea continues to erupt, wide swaths of the surrounding rain forests are destroyed by oozing molten rock. These black rivers are constantly flowing — making way for new life and regenerating the forest life cycle,” Hulett says.


How does something deadly also lead to renewal? According to the U.S. Geological Survey, organic material finds its way into the nooks and crannies of the fertile lava that has cooled, perhaps carried on the wind, and so begins a fresh start.

Read: Will Volcanoes Destroy the U.S.? 

Kīlauea itself is a highly active volcano. National Geographic says that in the last few decades it “has added more than 500 acres of new land to Hawai’i’s ‘Big Island.’”

See also:

Volcanoes are the Key to Alien Life 

Watch Mount Etna Erupt