Tucked just east of the massive Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii is a spooky little forest called the Lava Tree State Monument -- a jungle gateway to Middle Earth where you can find a cluster of spooky stumps known as lava trees.
What the heck is a lava tree, you ask?
Well, when a particular kind of fast-moving lava meets a cool, moisture-rich tree, the base of the tree will cool the 2,000ºF lava in such a way that it insulates the tree from the rest of the flowing lava, rather than immediately gobbling it up. Eventually, the tree will burn away or bake into charcoal, but if the lava flowing around the tree clears out of the area or drains into a crack, a lumpy column of vertical lava remains.
Even crazier, the tops of the lava trees represent the former height of the lava flow, which is several meters tall in some cases.
See what a ghost of a tree looks like in the photos below: