SALT LAKE CITY — File this one in the bucket of phenomena you probably never thought you’d see.
Several Hawaiian residents tweeted out pictures this week of green crystals appearing in the area. And though social media users said the crystals fell from the sky in the wake of the Kilauea volcano explosion from the last month, scientists are unsure if that's the case.
People tweeted images of the green crystals, which fell from the sky after the volcano’s eruption.
Scientists seem to be unsure about what the green crystals are, though.
Janine Krippner, a volcanologist at Concord University, told USA Today Thursday that the gems are a form of “olivine,” which is "a common mineral in basaltic lava, which is what this eruption is producing.”
"Olivine is formed in hot and deep magmas and is brought up to the surface during an eruption,” she said.
However, geologists from both the University of Hawaii and U.S. Geological Survey said the green crystals aren't olivine, and that the eruption itself is "olivine poor," according to Popular Mechanics.
"Trace amounts of olivine could be embedded within some of the volcanic rocks that spew out of the volcano, but these mineral specimens are tiny and would not rain down in the manner suggested," the report said.
USGS scientist Wendy Stovall told Mashable Thursday a confirmed report would mean the gems fell out of the sky during the volcano’s eruption.
Stovall said there is nothing unique about olivine.
"It's pretty common," Stovall told Mashable. "There’s often olivine in rocks all over Hawaii."3 comments on this story
Geologists from the University of Hawaii told Popular Mechanics the crystals are often carried out into the sky by an eruption. The air will cool down some of the lava, turning it into pumice. The gases inside the pumice escape, putting holes in the rocks.
The crystals will then fall out of those rocks, according to Popular Mechanics.
“As far as silver linings go, getting littered with shiny, harmless green crystals is pretty good,” according to Popular Mechanics. “But the island of Hawaii, one of the five islands that make up the state, has been sent through the ringer with the explosion of Kilauea now stretching well into its second month.”