Blowholes in Hawaii

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Nakalele Blowhole, Maui
Nakalele Blowhole, Maui./ Abhinaba Basu, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Below in alphabetic order are listed notable blowholes in Hawaii which are known to Wondermondo:

1. City of Arches at Honaunau Bay

Location: Western coast of Hawaii island
Description: Along the sea shore here can be found impressive geological formations, including some fine blowholes.

2. Halona Blowhole

Halona Blowhole
Halona Blowhole. / tobze, Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Location: O’ahu, south from Koko Crater
Height: Up to 9 – 10 m
Description: Powerful, visually very impressive blowhole. At high tide and wind it gets up to 9 – 10 m high.

3. Keahole Point blowhole

Location: Westernmost part of Hawaii Island
Height: Several metres
Description: One of the rather many blowholes in this area. At rough weather the fountain from the blowhole is several meters high. Belowed photography place.

4. Lanai lookout blowhole

Location: O’ahu
Description: Small blowhole which creates a fountain at certain wind and wave directions.

5. Makena Blowhole

Location: Maui
Description: Small blowhole in one of the most recent lava flows on Maui.

6. Moku Aeae Blowhole

Blowhole on Moku Aeae
Blowhole on Moku Aeae./ Forest and Kim Starr, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Location: to the north from Kaua’i, Moku Aeae island
Height: Up to 20 m
Description: Expressive, fine blowhole which at the right weather conditions creates some 20 m high fountain.

7. Nakalele Blowhole

Nakalele Blowhole
Nakalele Blowhole. / Jason Jacobs, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Location: Northern part of Maui
Height: Up to 30 m
Description: Impressive blowhole which beats from a shallow pool close to the sea. One of the best known and tallest blowholes in Hawaii.

8. Open Ceiling Cave (Pukalani)

Open Ceiling Cave, Kauai
Open Ceiling Cave, Kauai./ Wally Gobetz, Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Location: Northern coast of Kaua’i
Description: This geological formation is not exactly a blowhole although it is possible that in recent past it was a blowhole. Now this is a collapsed sea cave – a circular sea basin which is connected to the sea with a large cave – natural arch.

9. Pirate Cave

Entrance in Waiwaipuhi Sea Cave
Entrance in Waiwaipuhi Sea Cave./ Tim Wise, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Location: Northern coast of Kaua’i
Description: This enormous, 290 m long sea cave at high waves turns into a blowhole. The pressure of the air from the cave pushed back the waves, creating a fountain of mist and water.

10. Pools of Mokolea

Mokolea Pools, Kauai
Mokolea Pools, Kauai./ Ed Hunsinger, Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0
Location: Kaua’i, Kilauea Point
Description: This blowhole does not produce large splashes but it looks impressive due to a visual effect – in many images it looks as if ocean is falling into this hole.

11. South Point Blowhole

South Point Blowhole
South Point Blowhole, Hawaii./ Sean Hagen, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Location: Southern point of Hawaii Island
Description: During the storms this blowhole creates giant jets of water. If the weather is calm some though dare to jump in it.

12. Spitting Caves in Oahu

Spitting Caves, Oahu
Spitting Caves, Oahu./ Zen Lao, Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Location: South-east of O’ahu
Description: As the waves enters these caves, air pressure forces a near-horizontal fountain of mist and water out from the cave.

13. Spouting Horn in Kauai

Spouting Horn in Kauai
Spouting Horn in Kauai./ Nogwater, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Location: Southern coast of Kauai
Height: Up to 15 m and sometimes even 30 m
Description: A hissing and roaring blowhole which creates up to 15 and even 30 m high jets of water.

14. Toilet Bowl in Oahu

Location: Eastern coast of O’ahu
Description: Large hole in the rocks. With each wave, the level in this hole rises and then falls again through a cave. During storms here might rise fountains of water.

15. Blowhole in Waianapanapa State Park

Blowholes in Waianapanapa State Park
Blowholes in Waianapanapa State Park./ Matt McGee, Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0
Location: Maui, Wai’anapanapa State Park
Description: For the most time this blowhole produces a hissing sound and fountains of mist but sometimes is produces violent, powerful fountains.

Map of blowholes in Hawaii

What is a blowhole?

There are diverse natural landmarks which are called blowholes, such as holes – entrances in the caves – where a strong wind blows frequently. And then there are methane blowholes – eruptions of methane gas in the northern tundra. As the climate becomes warmer, the methane gas more and more frequently leaves the ground, creating impressive craters.

Wondermondo though lists as blowholes only a kind of “sea geysers” – intermittent natural water fountains that are powered by wave energy. In fact, the only natural landmarks in Hawaii which resemble geysers are such blowholes.

Spouting Horn, Kauai
Spouting Horn, Kauai./ Markus Jöbstl, Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

The best-known blowholes are located in popular tourist areas or places where live many people. One or another of these popular blowholes is announced to be the largest and tallest in the world without any proper knowledge whether this is true or not. Most likely, the world’s largest blowholes are not known to us and are located on remote islands. The maximum height of these natural fountains is seen only during severe storms. Ships try their best to be away from the cliffs in such weather.

Inside the Open Ceiling Cave, Kauai
Inside the Open Ceiling Cave, Kauai. Happily, at this moment the weather is calm./ Na Pali Riders, Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Are there any more blowholes in Hawaii?

Here are listed 15 locations with blowholes in Hawaii Islands. Wondermondo is aware that this list should be much longer. The geology of Hawaii is suitable for these geological formations because there are lots of suitable material – these volcanic islands have many recent lava flows that have reached the sea. There are reports about more blowholes in Hawaii Island, Molokai and other islands.

Please, give a message if you know blowholes which need to be added to this list!

Other articles about blowholes

  • Blowholes – more than 50 world’s most impressive (known) blowholes and the mechanism of their formation.
  • Blowholes in Australia – list of 22 locations with blowholes in Australia.

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