When lava hits the ocean, it’s going in at about 1,100 degrees Celsius (2012 degrees Fahrenheit..yikes!). When it comes into contact with the relatively cold seawater (averaging about 80 degrees F right now), the result is explosive. Within hours of hitting the water, the lava forms a bench (an area where the lava has built up on top, but the ground underneath it is still unstable). Underneath the lava bench, lava is still flowing through tubes, which can collapse. If you see or hear about a lava bench, observe it from a distance; they’re highly dangerous.
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