85-year-old bombs found in lava tubes on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano

Mauna Loa volcano bombs

MYSTERY WIRE — A hiker discovered two unexploded bombs inside a lava tube on the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii in late February. The bombs are believed to be 85 years old, remnants of an effort to stop or slow a lava flow in 1935.

Kawika Singson told West Hawaii Today about the discovery, and a little research found that there were two efforts — once in 1935 and once in 1942 — to drop bombs on lava flows.

READ: Hiker finds bombs dropped into Mauna Loa volcano in 1935

According to a Live Science report, the “bomb the volcano” strategy may or may not have worked. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said the lava flow did begin to slow the next day. Scientists at the time and today, though, believe the slowing flow was almost certainly a coincidence.

Singson posted photos of his discovery on Facebook:

The small “pointer bombs” Singson found contain only a small charge and were used for aiming and targeting bigger demolition bombs, each of which contained 355 pounds of TNT. See the Live Science article for more detail about the plan to divert the lava.

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