Spouting Horn, Kauai
This natural feature is on the south coast of the island not far from Poipu. It appears very much like a geyser, however the ocean is the source of the water. As waves reach the shore, they send water to an underwater shelf leading to the spout. When enough water is present, the spout will "erupt" and make an interesting noise. This noise is due to air being forced out the hole, although there is a legend of a large lizard being trapped underneath (which accounts for the sound). There is an overlook area to view the feature since it is dangerous to be close to the rocks where the Spouting Horn is located.
I was quite disappointed the last time I visited Kauai--they have totally blocked off Spouting Horn. You used to be able to walk along the lava rocks and get an "up close and personal" view of the blow hole. Now it's fenced off.
Even so, Spouting Horn is worth the visit--not just because it's an awesome sight, but because of the sound of the air and the water being forced through the hole, and the sound of the water crashing down on the lava rock is unbelievable.
Apparently there used to be a much bigger blow hole in this same lava bench that sprayed much higher and wider than the existing Spouting Horn blow hole. However, one of the managers at the sugar plantation decided to blow-up, thus destroying the blow hole, because the salt water it emitted was destroying a relatively small portion of his crops.
Beware of the many vendors selling cheap trinkets and other touristy stuff as you walk down to Spouting Horn from the parking lot. Vultures!
Drive all the way to the end of the road (well almost) and it is on the left. There is a parking lot and a tent like structure with retailers selling their trinkets, lots of chickens running around and a nice view of the ocean and Spouting Horn.
Water rushes under a lava shelf and bursts through a small opening at the surface. Every wave produces another spray. Spouting Horn frequently spurts salt water 50 feet into the air. There are a lot of vendors that sell hand made crafts and jewelry. Also, hopefully you're not afraid of chickens, because they are everywhere! They roam all over the island, but there seems to be a big crowd of them at Spouting Horn.
Spouting Horn is created by water rushing under a lava shelf and bursting through a small opening at the surface. The blowhole differs from the nearby holes by blowing water instead of air, making a loud groaning sound. Waves produce a spray of water 15 meters (50 feet) into the air.
It's near Po‘ipu on Kaua‘i's south side (TEST TIME: Can you properly pronounce Po‘ipu?). Spouting Horn is just a hole in the shelf of lava rock hanging over open water. As the ocean waves flow underneath, air and water are forced up through the hole by the compression of more waves behind it and manages to shoot several meters into the air.
Sprouting Horn is a well known phenomenon on the south shore of Kauai. It is a dual lava tube about ten feet from the shoreline that is powered by wave action. One tube breathes air, making a loud eerie gasping sound while the other tube sprays salt water, sometimes up to 30 feet or more. The sprout is said to be more dramatic at high tide, and on large south-swell days. It was fantastic when we were there.
According to Hawaiian legend a giant female lizard or dragon once terrorized the entire south side of the island. A brave young warrior named Liko was fishing along the south shore one day when he was attacked by the dragon. Liko speared the dragon in the mouth and the wounded beast chased him into a lava tube. Liko escaped, but the poor dragon was trapped there forever. The dragon's breath can still be heard coming from the tube to this day.
Visitors are warned to be very careful if they venture onto the rocks around the blowholes. Some unwary souls have been either sucked into one of the lava tubes, or washed out to sea by an unexpected high ocean wave.
Its just something you have to see for yourself, its these geyser like displays that come from the ocean. Its located in a popular south shore location.
Its almost strange to be standing there waiting with a zillion people looking at the rocks and ocean to see when it will spout out a water projectile. Then everyone scrambles to take a picture, it may take a few tries but you'll get it. :)
My own pictures of the spouting horn will be in my travelogue.
The picture to the left is a postcard, photo by Ann Cecil.
The Spouting Horn is a lava tube that opens into the sea. When the waves hit the shore, they cause water to squirt out the narrow tunnel. The funny thing about it is that there is a second hole that blows only air. Right before the wave hits the tube and water is blown into the air the second hole makes a noise, like a loud gasp. The shore around the horn is also very beautiful.
This natural phenomenon is second only to Yellowstone's Old Faithful. It's quite a sight--big waves hit Kauai's south shore with enough force to send a spout of funneled saltwater 10 feet (3m) or more up in the air; in winter, the water can get as high as six stories.
Spouting Horn is different from other blowholes in Hawaii, in that it has an additional hole that blows air that sounds like a loud moaning. According to Hawaiian legend, this coastline was once guarded by a giant female lizard (Mo'o); she would gobble up any intruders. One day, along came Liko, who wanted to fish in this area. Mo'o rushed out to eat Liko. Quickly, Liko threw a spear right into the giant lizard's mouth. Mo'o then chased Liko into a lava tube. Liko escaped, but legend says Mo'o is still in the tube, and the moaning sound at Spouting Horn is her cry for help.
If the waves are high enough, the horn spouts water. That's it.
It is relaxing counting the waves. Knowing the next one will be worth a picture.
Spouting Horn is best seen at high tide. It is caused by waves thrusting fhrough and opening of the lava causing the water and air to form a blowhole. Very interesting and fun to catch on film!