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The Islands of Hawaii

By Jonathan Howery

History about the Islands of Hawaii is a large part of what you will be hearing while on the Hawaii Turtle Tour. In fact you will learn all about Hawaii’s 137 islands in all. Just kidding, but you will learn the names of the Big 8. Most of these islands are actually offshore atolls, islets, and cures, covered in coral and sea life. The Hawaiian island chain is actually so extensive that it is called the Emperor Seamount Chain and extends 3,600 miles. The islands that compose the chain are produced by continental drift. As the ocean crust moves over the Hawaii hotspot, more and more islands are formed. A hotspot is defined as an upwelling of molten rock from the mantle in the Earth’s core.

The Islands of Hawaii

Hawaii has 8 main islands that I like to call the Big 8. The main islands in the Hawaiian chain consist of Kauai, Maui, Oahu, Lanai, Molokai, Niihau, Kahoolawe and Hawaii, also known as Big Island. The largest island guest it, Big Island and is larger than all the other islands put together. However, the next biggest is the Valley Isle known as Maui and is located just west of of the Big Island. Around Maui you can find The Pineapple Island of Lanai, the Target Isle of Kahoolawe, and the Friendly Isle of Molokai. Heading westward from this area you will reach the Gathering Place of Oahu, then the Garden Isle of Kaua’i, and finally the Forbidden Isle of Ni’ihau.

The Ancient Hawaiians first noticed the age of the islands when they migrated and populated them. The differences in composition of the islands can be seen as Kauai had the most brittle and eroded rocks so it had to be the oldest. While Big Island had the most freshly molten lava so it had to be the newest. According to Hawaiian legends and their myths handed down from generation to generation orally and through hula dancing, Kauai was inhabited first by the goddess of fire Pele who made it her home with her her family. However, her sister Namaka, goddess of the sea, became angry with Pele and forced her through great ocean waves to flee Kauai. Namaka chased Pele to Oahu, then to Molokai, Maui, and Lanai until reaching Big Island. There Pele currently lives and with her fiery powers creates more land.

Enjoy your vacation here in the lovely Hawaiian Islands and if you have any questions about Hawaii Turtle Tours or about this blog, feel free to email at [email protected].


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