At various points around the summit of Kīlauea and the Kaʻū Desert, what appear to be golden mats of hair lay gathered on the ground. These fibers are not human or animal hair, but rather a delicate byproduct of some of the Earth's most powerful forces. They are thin glass fibers known as Pele's hair, named after the volcanic deity Pele.
Birds are known to make nests out of materials from the surrounding environment— and that includes Pele's hair. This nest, perhaps from an ʻapapane, is now part of the museum collection at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park.
Last updated: January 22, 2021