Pele's tears

Pele's tears

Assorted shapes of Pele's tears collected a few kilometers downwind from Mauna Ulu from along the Hilina Pali Road on Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii. U.S. dime for scale in lower right. Credit: J. D. Griggs / US Geological Survey.

Pele's tears are small bits of molten lava in fountains that cool quickly and solidify into glass particles shaped like spheres or tear drops, named after Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes. Pele's tears are jet black in color and are often found on one end of a strand of Pele's hair.