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On windy days when the tide is high, the ocean breeze sends the waves rolling on to the shore where the rock formation then shoots sea spray high into the air through the cave acting like a geyser. The blowhole is most active when the tide is high and the winds are strong. This is a tourist spot, with visitors coming for the scenery, the beach at the cove, and in the winter as a spot to go to see humpback whales or Honu turtles (Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles). The erratic tidal changes that take place offshore make for a strong current called Moloka'i Express that can drag divers out to sea. A large wedged shape area right off the coast next to the cove is a reef coated with Sinularia Leather Coral, which is a coral that does not need much light to live, in which you can find many different species like echinoderms, slugs, corals, and eels. The shoreline cliff beyond the cove, ending at a point is the limit for any shore diving here due to the strong current and distance. There is also a narrow rift along the base of the cliff which was formed by a large section of rock that broke away from the land.
Thousands of years ago when volcanoes were still active on Oahu, Koko Crater's lava flowed into the ocean there at Hālona Point. The molten lava tubes from volcanic eruptions that occurred thousands of years ago formed the natural occurrence known as the Hālona Blowhole. The lava tubes extend into the ocean which are narrow at the top, and when the surf is favorable, the blowhole can shoot sea spray up to thirty feet high in the air.
Hālona Cove, called "Cockroach Cove" by the local population, is the small pit of sand close to Hālona Blowhole, and tourists and locals visit this small beach for swimming when the surf is calm. Access to the beach is difficult (most visitors scale the cliff from the parking lot) and it is dangerous to swim here while the surf is rough considering there are no lifeguards on duty here. This was the site of the love scene between Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster in the 1953 film From Here to Eternity, and also between Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in the movie 50 First Dates. In 2012, the beach was featured in the music video for Nicki Minaj's "Starships". The blowhole was the location for a scene in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Numerous accidents and even deaths have occurred at this landmark because of people ignoring the warning signs. Locked gates have been installed to keep people from going out onto the rock formation, but tourists and locals still climb the fence.
Below Hālona is one of the most dangerous ocean currents in the world due to the Ka Iwi channel.
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