Hawaii May 06, 2016
This Natural Phenomenon In Hawaii Is Incredible But Deadly
Located just one mile past the famous Rainbow Falls on Hawaii Island’s Wailuku River is an equally gorgeous – but quite deadly – natural phenomena. Pe’epe’e Falls feeds a series of several pools known as the boiling pots, a beautiful slice of paradise that serves as a reminder that mother nature may not always be kind, but she is always in charge.
Connected by a series of cascading waterfalls along columns that were formed from the slow cooling of basalt lava, these pools appear to be bubbling – almost as if they were boiling.
Wailuku River, the second largest river in Hawaii, flows 18 miles along the line where lava from Hawaii Island’s two major volcanoes – Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea – meet. The river eroded a gorge in the lava flows, and at boiling pots, the cooling lava created a deadly landscape.
When swollen with storm water, the water rises and water in the pools becomes turbulent – and appears to be, quite literally, boiling.
The beautiful landscape serves as the backdrop for one of Hawaii’s many legends. The story goes that Mo’o Kuna, a vengeful lizard, was trying to drown Hina – the Hawaiian goddess of the moon whom dwells beneath Rainbow Falls.
Hina’s son, Maui, came to her rescue and chased the mo’o from Rainbow Falls upstream to the pools just below the overlook. Mo’o was hiding in the pools, and Maui couldn’t get a good shot, so he called upon Pele – the goddess of fire – who gave him hot stones to throw in the river. As a result, the water started boiling, thus driving Mo’o Kuna from his hiding place.
Flash flooding in these pools is common, and because there are no lifeguards, many have perished in the river by getting sucked into the water and becoming trapped within concealed lava tubes and caves.
The best way to experience this beautiful and deadly natural phenomena is from a cement overlook, just a short walk from the paved parking lot, where you will see both Pe’epe’e Falls and the Boiling Pots.
Visitors can hike down the trail to the water’s edge, but they should be warned that they should never – under any circumstances – enter the water.
Isn’t nature simply fascinating? Share your experiences and photos from the boiling pots with us on our Only In Hawaii Facebook page.