USA, Hawaiian Islands– In the Middle of the Pacific I.
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Mokupuni o Hawai’i is the name of the islands in he Hawaii, a Polynesian language which is the official language of the state of Hawaii. It is really interesting for only couple of thousand people of 1.3 million inhabitants speak the language. The islands are locate in the north Pacific. These consists of eight main islands and many other small islands.
Aloha is the word you probably know. It originates in the Hawaiian language and comes with several different meanings. People greet each other with aloha, or express compassion, lover, peace, or emotions. Also, this word is used as the nickname for the state as it is called the Aloha State. Quite amusing is the name given to the islands by James Cook (a British sailor). He called them the Sandwich Islands to honor John Montaguo, the fourth duke of Sandwich. By the way, he is considered the inventor of the famous snack.
The name of the archipelago as well as of the US’ state (it joined as late as in 1959 being, therefore, the youngest in the union) is derived from the name of the main island. By the way, the main island is also the largest (it covers an area of 10 thousand square kilometers).
The legend has it that the name was chosen as an homage to the legendary navigator Hawaiʻiloy, alleged discoverer of the island. As for Europeans, the aforementioned Britton James Cook was the first who saw it. And it was on this island, in Kealakekua bay (we visit it later) where he made his last breath. He died after the fight with a man trying to steal one of his ships.
The island consists of five shield volcanoes, three of them being active and one of them (Mauna Kea) is inactive. Mauna Kea (we take a look at it in some other article) is world’s highest mountain. You maybe think, wait isn’t it Mount Everest in the Himalayas? Well, true but only if we count mountains with the base that is not under water. The above sea level part of Mauna Kea is 4 200 meters tall. However, adding its underwater mass it easily surpasses 10 thousand meters, therefore, Mt Everest.
Many earthquakes hit the island as it consists of five volcanoes. Fortunately, magnitude is low therefore an earthquake or two can add to your experience on the islands as these are very uncommon in central Europe. Majority of earthquakes don’t go above 3 points of Richter magnitude scale.
(To be continued...)
GPS: 19°49'19.4"N 155°28'09.8"W (Mauna Kea)
Text: Maxim Kucer
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