Posted by: Anna Webb | April 25, 2009

The Newest Black Sand Beach on Earth


In 1990, lava erupted and flowed over the towns of Kalapana, Kaimu and Kaimu Bay burying them, and the lovely black sand beach nearby, under several feet of black lava rock. The town and residents’ homes were all but decimated and lush greenery burned to its original form of carbon and reintegrated into the natural cycle of things.

Once the flow ran its course, the ocean began picking up the large rocks of hardened black lava and pounded them upon the shore breaking it back into tiny particles of black sand.

Today, 19 years later, coconut trees and other greenery lines the carved out walking path to the newly recreated black sand beach. Local residents contribute every day by planting a variety of palm trees and plants indigenous to the area to assist nature in its reclamation of beauty.

At the end of the Red Road, southeast Big Island coastal route 137, the village of Kaimu bustles with activity. Tour buses stop to let visitors explore the wonders of the newest black sand beach on Earth, locals gather at Uncle Mikey’s or Kalapana Cafe for grinds and a cold drink and vendors sell their wares. Coconut palms sway in the breeze amidst a backdrop of the large plume of steam created from the current lava flow entering the ocean nearby. It serves as a reminder of both the power and beauty of nature.

It also signals a fact of life worth considering: even nature, in it’s cycle of death and rebirth, emerges victorious.

No matter how devastating an experience seems, there is always hope for the emergence of a new order. It’s nature’s way. And Spirit is something no one destroys. In this place, the Spirit of Aloha is alive and kicking.┬áThe newest black sand beach on Earth reminds us that there is always hope and beauty.


  1. Anna, this stuff is fascinating! As usual, your writing is superb! I’m really proud of you for taking on this wonderful challenge…keep me posted on the updates.


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