Neature Talk: Hawaii

March 8, 2021


Devon Miller

Everyone on our planet has heard of Hawaii. With such a widespread knowledge of existence, it may seem surprising that so many people are unaware of just how unique and remarkable these islands truly are. 

5 million years ago, bubbling and smoking, magma from the Earth’s molten core began to grow. Starting at the bottom of the ocean, climbing towards the sun, soon islands began to emerge out of the water. This archipelago would come to be known as the Hawaiian Islands; revered by humans today for their extraordinary beauty, and wonderful tropical climate. 

Millions of years ago, the islands freshly formed, spores and seeds from thousands of miles away made their way to the nutrient rich volcanic soil of Hawaii. These plants evolved into many species, several of which can not be found anywhere else in the world. 

One example of completely unique Hawaiian plant life is Pili Grass. While it may not sound all that interesting, the seed of this plant is what gives it its fame. The seed of Pili Grass looks like any other ordinary seed, until it comes into contact with water. Squirming and burrowing, when the seed comes into contact with water, it begins to wiggle and move, a characteristic mainly used to help this plant reproduce, and burrow into the soil to grow.

Many of Hawaii’s animal species also fall into the category of strange and unusual. A prime example comes from the avian family. ‘I’iwi, or, Scarlet Honeycreeper, may be one of the most recognizable native Hawaiian birds. With the characteristic bright red plumage and long beak, these birds are hard to miss. What makes these birds so remarkable is the unusual curving formation they have evolved in their beaks; which allows them to reach into native flowers and drink nectar critical for their survival. 

Hawaii offers so much beauty and serenity from a world turning concrete and urban, and will for many years to come, as long as all humans do their part to take care of it. 


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