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Most People Have No Idea This One Awesome Thing Happens In Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are home to some of the most unique landscapes in the world – and nowhere is that more true than on the Big Island, particularly on the slopes of Mauna Loa. One of five volcanoes on Hawaii Island, Mauna Loa has historically been considered to be the largest volcano in the world, with gentle slopes and a volume estimated to be 18,000 cubic miles (its peak is 120 feet lower than its neighbor Mauna Kea).

Though the volcano’s peak is wildly impressive, it is the slopes that are home to lava fields reminiscent of an alien planet. In fact, the slopes of Mauna Loa have been used for astronaut training for years. At approximately 8,200 feet above sea level, and with hardly any vegetation, the landscape mimics that of Mars, making it the perfect location for the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation missions.

For a glimpse of the dome’s interior and surroundings, check out this footage.

Would you ever go into voluntary isolation for a mars simulation? For more information about HI-SEAS and their missions, check out their website. If you’re not quite ready to participate in the study, be sure to explore these 12 alien landscapes found throughout Hawaii instead.

Megan Shute
Megan is a freelance journalist residing near Honolulu, Hawaii. Since moving to Hawaii from the mainland two years ago, she has become obsessed with hiking, beach trips, and Kona coffee.