Blue Flames Burning at Kilauea

The Kilauea volcano has been violently erupting in Hawaii since early this month, and continues to spew lava and ash across Hawaii’s Big Island, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents. The Pu`u `O`o Eruption actually began 1983; the increase in activity is just a continuation of the 30-year event.

Recently, there have been sightings of a rare phenomenon around the volcanic site: blue flames. The flames occur because of methane, which is being produced as dead vegetation breaks down and the gas builds up in underground voids. When the methane seeps out of the cracks in the paved road and ignites, it produces the blue flames. Watch this National Geographic video to learn more.