The image was captured by Mick Kalber of Tropical Visions Video who was at the location with Paradise Helicopters flying around the volcano for one of his films.
“I’ve been shooting the lava lake inside the Pu’u ‘O’o vent since it first formed several years ago. Sometimes we can’t get to it because of all the smoke and steam and the plume coming out of the vent. Other times, it’s just barely visible. But last Wednesday morning it was marvellously clear… and we were there early enough for the lava to glow brightly in the early morning light. I saw the smiley face as soon as we made the first turn around the lake. I thought to myself, now that’s weird… not something I’d ever seen before in my 32+ years of shooting Kilauea,” explains Mick.
Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes and has been erupting continuously since the 1980’s. On this occasion, the lava from the crater reached the ocean, resulting in some dramatic camera images.