Link #115: There’s a Mountainside in Hawaii That Is Called the Wall of Tears!

Wall of tears


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Link #115: There’s a Mountainside in Hawaii That Is Called the Wall of Tears!

Wall of Tears Waialeale
The “Wall of Tears” in the crater of Mount Waialeale. Author: Miguel Vieira, (CC BY 2.0)

The Great Wall of China may be the most well-known wall on Earth but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other equally mind-blowing structures worth a visit. The main reason why the Great Wall of China is so famous is that people believe it’s visible from space. However, we burst that little bubble in our last post.

Another wall that is breathtakingly and mind-numbingly beautiful is the Wall of Tears. The Wall of Tears exists in Hawaii. In the simplest of terms, it’s a mountainside with water flowing down in such a manner that it looks like the mountain is crying. Are you curious about this naturally occurring piece of beauty? Read on.

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What Is the Wall of Tears?

Mount Waialeale
Mount Waialeale. Image credit: Miguel Vieira, (CC BY 2.0)

As mentioned, the Wall of Tears is a naturally occurring phenomenon where a mountainside has so many waterfalls that it looks like the mountain is crying. The clearly vertical path that the waterfalls follow down the sides of the mountain is also one of the main reasons why it looks like the mountainside is crying.

The Wall of Tears is located on the side of Mount Waialeale in Hawaii. Mount Waialeale is the second highest peak on the Kauai Island of the Hawaiian Islands. More importantly, Mount Waialeale is one of the wettest places on Earth.

How Did the Wall of Tears Form?

Wall of Tears
Wall of Tears by jurvetson, (CC BY 2.0)

The reason for the formation of the Wall of Tears is the unique nature of Mount Waialeale as one of the wettest locations on the planet. The mountain is more than 5,000 feet tall and located in the northernmost part of the northernmost Hawaiian island.

Furthermore, Mount Waialeale also has a very unique shape. It is rounded but conical in shape. This allows the mountain to be able to receive rainfall almost throughout the year. The shape traps warm winds and moisture laden winds, and pushes them upwards on its slopes.

When these winds reach the summit of the mountain, they become cold which makes the moisture turn into rain. The location of Mount Waialeale also plays a role in its being one of the wettest places in the world.

Because of its location, Mount Waialeale is usually the first to bear the brunt of frontal systems and trade winds. Frontal systems are changing climatic conditions such as temperature, wind pressure, and moisture content of air between two regions, while trade winds almost always carry moisture.

How Can You See the Wall of Tears?

It is very difficult to see the Wall of Tears because of the constant rush of water in the region. As the region receives rains consistently round the year, the base of the Wall of Tears is inaccessible due to overflowing rivers most of the time.

While it is possible to trek to the base of the Wall of Tears at some specific times in the year, it still remains a lottery because the wall is usually hidden by fog and clouds. This is why the best way of seeing the Wall of Tears is from a helicopter.

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