Please stop throwing coins into volcanoes, say Hawai'ian National Park Rangers

Eruption at Volcanoes National Park
(Image credit: Getty)

Volcanoes National Park in Hawai'i has a serious problem: visitors keep throwing trash and coins into the park's volcanic steam vents, and Park Rangers are starting to lose their patience.

"We wish we didn’t have to say this, but we do," said the park in a Facebook post. "Please do not throw trash or money into the steam vents at Wahinekapu, or anywhere else in the park."

The post explains that throwing trash into the vents is also dangerous for the park's staff, who could be seriously injured retrieving it, and is disrespectful to native Hawai'ians, who bathe in steam from the vents as part of a cultural tradition.

Park visitors could also be burned if they are tempted to retrieve money thrown into the steam – and garbage just plain looks bag.

Rangers at Volcanoes National Park have some more ideas that are more respectful than throwing cash. 

"Find some personal space, and engage with the landscape," they suggest. "Introduce yourself, offer an oli (chant) or mele (song). If you really want to leave money, a secure donation box is available inside Kīlauea Visitor Center."

What makes Volcanoes special

Volcanoes National Park is unique for both geological and cultural reasons. It contains two of the world's most active volcanoes, Kīlauea and Mauna Loa, and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve.

Visitors can witness frequent eruptions in person, but if you can't make it there in person, you can watch a livestream of the Kīlauea Summit Eruption captured by a webcam in the park. The image refreshes automatically after a few seconds.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.