In the center of the coal-black lava field at Sullivan Bay are gigantic piles of reddish-orange material forming a circular, 800 foot hill. This is a rare palagonite cone. This geological oddity is created when hot lava spewing from a linear fissure vent dramatically contacts the sea. The water vaporizes into steam and the lava crystalizes into volcanic glass. The oxidized dust then settles back around the source of the eruption. If this palagonite tuff seems alien, you are not far from wrong. Scientists believe similar palagonite dust covers some of Mar’s surface. Amazing!