Pele's Tears: "Lava Fingerprinting" Reveals Geochemistry of Hawaii's Volcanoes
Pele. Her name brings visions of fire, lightning, wind—and volcanoes. Of all the ancient Hawaiian gods and goddesses, Pele, the "lady in the red dress," is the best known.
Locals believe that her powers formed Hawaii's chain of volcanic islands. The word pele means molten lava in Hawaiian. Volcanic eruptions, it's said, are Pele's way of expressing a longing to be with her true love. Lava is Pele's tears.
Ocean Sunfish: Feeding on Jellyfish…or Something Else?
Just when beachgoers on Maine's Wells Beach thought it was safe to go into the water…a fin appeared 30 to 50 meters offshore. It was Labor Day weekend, 2012. Beach and shallows were teeming with people. But lifeguards ordered everyone off and out as they worked to determine whether the fin, some 20 to 25 centimeters above the waterline, was that of a shark.
Hottest New Tracking Technique? Radioactivity in the Pacific Ocean
What's not so safe—perhaps—are other species that swim the open ocean alongside Mola mola.
When a tsunami flooded Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plants in March 2011, the plants overheated and spilled radioactive cooling water into the nearby sea. It was the largest release of radioactivity into the ocean in the history of nuclear accidents.