The lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano vent has attracted thousands of visitors since it began oozing down in May and finally reached the ocean this week.
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Really looks like a smiley face, but it's anything but benevolent.
Keaka Hunter, a security guard patrolling the area, said about 2,000 people came to see the flow Monday night, hours before the lava entered the ocean for the first time in nearly three years. Previous days drew an average of about 1,000 people.
The U.S. Geological Survey is cautioning visitors about safety risks, which include flying debris and acidic plume containing fine volcanic particles that can irritate the eyes, skin and lungs. The new land may also be unstable because it's built on unconsolidated lava fragments and sand, which can easily be eroded by surf.
The dramatic moment when fire meets water.
The lava turns to rock in some spots.
Here is an image of Kilauea volcano engulfing a forest.
Kilauea's lava engulfing a forest on it slopes in the rugged Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on July 9
The Puu Oo vent of the active Kilauea volcano has seen recent and ongoing eruptions of lava snaking across the volcano's south flank toward the ocean