Spouting Horn of the Ancient Lizard

Physics might explain the strange noises at Spouting Horn, but the legend is far more interesting.

Spouting Horn of the Ancient Lizard Origin Story

Spouting Horn of the Ancient Lizard (video: Brent Petersen)

On the Hawaiian island of Kauai at Spouting Horn Park is a fun attraction called the Spouting Horn of the Ancient Lizard. As waves roll in, ocean water fills an underwater cave. The cave narrows to a small opening on the rocks above water level. The pressure from the water rushing through the rocks causes a geyser of seawater to fly into the air, sometimes up to 40 or 50 feet! As the water moves through the restricted space of the cave and blowhole, it makes a low, moaning sound.

The Legend of the Spouting Horn of the Ancient Lizard says that this part of the Hawaiian coastline used to be guarded by a mo’o (a giant sea lizard). One day, a boy named Liko was swimming when the lizard spotting him.

The fearsome sea creature chased Liko who swam for his life into the underwater cave and escaped through the blowhole. But, the mo’o was too big and got stuck in the narrow space between the rocks. The moaning sound we hear today is the giant lizard’s cries of pain as he tries to escape.

Kukui’ula Sea Plume

There used to be an even more spectacular blowhole a couple miles east of Spouting Horn Park. Called the Kukui’ula Sea Plume, water used to shoot almost 200 feet in the air.

But, don’t plant to visit. 100 years ago, the plantation owner blew up the blowhole with dynamite. He said the saltwater spray was damaging his sugarcane crop. A**hole.

Visiting the Spouting Horn of the Ancient Lizard

Spouting Horn of the Ancient Lizard (photo: Brent Petersen)

When you’re on the island of Kauai, visiting the Spouting Horn of the Ancient Lizard is easy. There’s a free parking lot at the Spouting Horn Park off Lawai Road. From there, just walk to the water. There’s a little observation area where you can watch nature’s show.

About the Author

Brent Petersen is the Editor-in-Chief of Destination Eat Drink. He currently resides in Setubal, Portugal. Brent has written the novel “Truffle Hunt” (Eckhartz Press) and the short story collection “That Bird.” He’s also written dozens of foodie travel guides to cities around the world on Destination Eat Drink, including in-depth eating and drinking guides to Lisbon, PortoSintraMonsaraz, and Evora in Portugal. Brent’s podcast, also called Destination Eat Drink, is available on all major podcasting platforms and is distributed by the Radio Misfits Podcast Network.

Author: Brent