Pelé's hair

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Thin filaments of basaltic glass formed from chilled lava spray thrown out from a volcano during Hawaiian eruptions, and named after Pelé, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes. The lava is so fluid that on eruption it forms droplets, shaped primarily by surface-tension forces, drawing behind them the long filaments which break to form the Pelé's hair. The filaments may be metres long, and drift downwind for many kilometres. The solidified droplets themselves are known as ‘Pelé's tears’. Fragments formed from solidified lava spray are given the general name ‘achneliths’.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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