Green Sand Beach Hawaii is also known as Papakolea Beach or Mahana Beach. Based on the name, if translated into Indonesian meaning is Green Sand Beach because this beach is indeed really decorated with green sand.
If usually the word “green” somewhere refers to the surrounding landscape surrounded by green trees, this does not apply to Papakolea Beach. Not because of the view of the trees that make it nicknamed the green beach, but the uniqueness of the sand that is naturally green.
In this world, of course, there are many unique places or beach, one of that is this Papakolea beach. The uniqueness of the sand that has a different color to the beach, in general, was also owned by some other beaches in the world. But compare to all the beaches in the world, there are only four beaches that have green sand spread across several countries.
Papakolea Beach is located near South Point, in the Ka’u region of the island of Hawaii. In addition to this beach, three other beaches in the world that also have green sand is Talofofo Beach in Guam; Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island, Galapagos Island; and Hornindalsvatnet in Norway.
Green Sand Beach Hawaii is located in a bay half-section surrounded by Pu’u Mahana, a cone-shaped volcanic ash that has been formed since more than 49,000 years ago. The ash mound is still linked to the southwestern slit of Mauna Loa, one of five volcanoes that make up the Hawaiian island in the United States.
This beach has several names, sometimes people call this beach like the name cinder cone (cone volcanic ash) that enclose it and sometimes referred to as the name of the coastal region, Papakolea. The name Papakolea itself is taken from the word papa kōlea which in Hawaiian means flat bird plover. The area is near the crater, where Pacific birds usually hang around in the winter.
The cinder cones surrounding Papakolea beaches have partially collapsed since the last eruption of Mauna Loa and others have been eroded by the oceans. The ash mound has a very high olivine content. Olivine is a mineral silicate containing iron and magnesium. It is also known as peridot in terms of gem quality.
Generally, the mineral component of olivine is contained in volcanic mountains in Hawaii. This mineral is also one of the first crystals to form as a cooling magma. The local Hawaiians call Olivin “Hawaiian Diamond”. The crystal is mainly found in Diamond Head, the famous landmark on O’ahu, the third largest island of Hawaii.
From this mineral olivin, the color of sand in Papakolea Beach is sourced. The green color in the sand is obtained from the olivine crystals that are sifted from the headland which is eroded by sea water. More solid and sturdy olivine textures than ash fragments, glass and black pyroxene from the remaining rock and lava flows tend to accumulate on shore while less dense volcanic sand is usually swept into the sea. The pile of olivine crystals makes sand in Papakolea Beach look green.
Although the olivine crystals will be destroyed and drift due to weathering and chemical processes, constant erosion occurring in the cinder cone will ensure the supply of green sand remains for the foreseeable future. However, in any case, eventually, the supply will be exhausted if the cinder cone has been completely eroded. When the supply of green sands runs out, the Green Sand Beach Hawaii will look just like an ordinary beach.
While the uniqueness of this beach still exists, it’s better to visit and see for yourself how beautiful the beach is. It’s about 3 miles from South Point and can only be accessed on foot or on a ride like a pickup truck or Jeep. The road to this place is very rough so it is recommended to be accompanied by experienced drivers.
In order to maintain the beauty of this beach, the tourists who come should always maintain cleanness by not littering or doing other irresponsible things at Green Sand Beach Hawaii.