November 19, 2015

2049 UNITED STATES (Hawaii) - Papalaua Falls in Molokai

Located east of Oahu and north of Lanai, Molokai Island developed from two distinct shield volcanoes known as East Molokai and the much smaller West Molokai. Today, East Molokaii volcano is what remains of the southern half of the original mountain. The northern half suffered a catastrophic collapse about 1.5 million years ago and now lies as a debris field scattered northward across the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. What remains of the volcano on the island include the highest sea cliffs in the world.

Summit of East Molokai receives a lot more rain than the western part, and the rainwater has cut spectacular valleys in the volcanic shield and formed very tall, nearly vertical ridges. Rain maintains lush vegetation - even very steep slopes here are covered with emerald green cover of plants. Waves of Pacific ocean have washed out the volcanic shield, creating spectacular cliffs.

All of this facilitates development of some of the most impressive waterfalls in the whole world. Some of them, like Papalaua Falls, can only be seen in their full glory from the ocean or by air. This flows for 501m along a very steep fissure made by the force of the stream and consists of 5 drops. The most impressive part is in the middle of the falls - 340m tall drop. Often Papalaua Falls are mistaken with the nearby Kahiwa Falls, although the first are located at the far end of a deep valley, while the last fall directly into the ocean.

About the stamps
The first stamp, issued to mark the 100th anniversary of Rosa Parks' birth, is the last of three stamps issued in 2013 as part of a civil rights series commemorating courage, strength and equality in America, about which I wrote here. The last stamp, depicting Spicebush Swallowtail, is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here.

Molokai - Wikipedia
Top 12 Moloka'i Waterfalls - Wonder Mondo
Papalaua Falls - Top Waterfalls in the World - World Top Top

Sender: Denise
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 04.02.2014
Photo: Florence Lilly

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