DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Fine silica (glass) hairs formed from molten lava. Molten lava bursts into the air and strong winds stretch it into fine silica hairs. Known locally as Pele's hair (for the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele) it collects in crevices and behind small rocks in the vicinity of an active flow. The lava from Hawaii's active volcano contains over 60% silica. Magnification: x20 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.
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