Pele appears in ‘chicken skin’ photo taken by National Park Service volunteer

NPS Photo/Dave Faber


A photo on Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s Facebook page has been generating a lot of buzz for who appears in it.

Can you see her in the lava? Many say Madame Pele appears to be looking down.

National Park Service volunteer Dave Faber took the photo on June 30 from the Jaggar Museum overlook, which is an area open to the public.

“Dave’s photo is really special, and it’s one of a number of images people share with the park that show what appears to be a likeness of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano deity,” said Jessica Ferracane, the park’s public affairs specialist. “This shot is really chicken skin because she seems to be rising from her home in Halemaumau Crater. Some photos we see show a female shape in molten lava or hardened black lava, or sometimes Pele’s shape appears in steam or gas vapor, and that’s really interesting, because many Native Hawaiians feel that Pele is all of these things, and that molten lava is actually the physical embodiment of Pele herself. That’s why the park urges visitors not to poke lava with sticks or other objects and to respect the culture.”

Faber has since moved to the United Kingdom. He actually took the photo on one of his final days working at the park.

Some think Pele was bidding him aloha.

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