Now considered a phenomenon of natural beauty and awe, the huge plume of water produced at the Spouting Horn blowhole was once the inspiration for an outlandish local legend.
The Hawaiian name for is puhi, meaning blowhole. Local legend holds that the blowhole is home to a large mo‘o, or lizard. According to the story, the lizard was terrorizing the coast until a local boy tricked it into chasing him into a lava tube, where the beast became permanently lodged. The irregular geyser that shoots from the hole to almost 50 feet in the air was thought to be the infernal breaths of the trapped lizard.
The natural blowhole is in actuality a lave tube that connects to the sea. When the tide wells, water is pushed through, bursting out the opening in the rock. The spray reaches up to 50 feet in the air. If you’re lucky and the light is right, you might even see a rainbow in the spray. Even though the geyser has been explained by more conventional means, the site is still one of the most photographed places in Hawai’i.