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lava tree

March 10, 2010

When hot lava flows down a hill through a forest, the molten rock coats the tree trunks.  After the surface level of the liquid rock drops, the trunks still protruding above the surface remain covered with waxy, hardening rock.  When it hardens, and the entire lava bed cools to a solid state, you end up with a rocky mold of each individual tree, as seen in this video we made at Lava Tree State Park.  Eventually, the tree trunk rots away, leaving only the “lava tree.”

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