Around the World in 80 Plates: Hawaii, USA

Even though it is summer here, Captain Create has gone to the beach in Hawaii to relax!

The State of Hawaii is a volcanic group of islands that is 2,000 miles west of California in the Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the world’s largest island chain, and it’s the only U.S. state completely made up of islands. Only 7 of its 132 islands are inhabited: Hawaii (the Big Island), Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau. Hawaii was named the 50th state in 1959 and is the only state in the USA with a Royal Palace in it. Maybe someday you can go visit!

Hawaii’s nickname, the Aloha State, is because Aloha is a Hawaiian way to say hello and goodbye.

The Earth’s crust is always moving just a little bit, but the hot spot that produces magma isn’t. So over time as the crust moved, but the hot spot remained—creating a series of volcanic islands. Hawaii’s most active volcano is Kilauea, and you can see it at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Kilauea has been erupting for over 30 years, and each year, its lava expands the big island of Hawaii by over 40 acres!

Maui’s Haleakala volcano and the rest of the Hawaiian Islands formed out of molten lava as the Pacific plate drifted over the hotspot as three to four inches a year. (Map Source: TASA Graphic Arts, Inc. © 2009)

Each island has a little bit of a different climate. On Hawaii you can experience dry grassy plains next to lava flows, wet and lush jungles, and yet another environment: the volcano Mauna Loa’s dry lava is so much like parts of the moon’s surface that astronauts once walked on it to practice for lunar voyages. Mount Waialeale, on Kauai, is considered on of the rainiest spots on Earth, getting 384 inches of rain a year on average.

One thing that all Hawaiians eat, a lot of the visitors too, is the Taro Root.

You can find it at Luau’s as Poi, or sold at the farmers markets whole, fried into chips, or my favorite way, served like a french fry! Should we make some? Get a grown-up to help you peel and cut this crazy looking root vegetable!

Taro roots grow in Hawaii, and in a lot of countries in Asia, so you can find them in Asian stores, some Latin Markets, and even a well-stocked American grocery store.

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