Getting to know Hawaii’s volcanoes. [Video]

Hawaii is a special destination for science enthusiasts of all ages, since it’s one of the only places in the world where you can safely explore active volcanoes. If you’ve got a head for geography, or simply want to see how volcanic activity shapes an island, Hawaii is the perfect destination.

When most people hear “volcano,” they picture a violently exploding mountain. However, the volcanoes in Hawaii are mainly shield volcanoes, which feature gently flowing lava that creates steady peaks. These volcanoes are relatively predictable, which is why it’s possible to get an up-close look.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, located on the Big Island, is the ideal spot for visitors. The most adventurous visitors will love hiking Chain of Craters road: Depending on the day’s volcanic activity, this is your best bet for catching a glimpse of glowing lava flows.