Have you ever heard of Lāhainā Noon?

If you are not from the state of Hawai’I, probably not.

The islands of Hawaii are the only place in the United States you could experience such a phenomenon.

It’s a bit picky, as it only happens between a certain period of time on a certain date and take its rounds between the islands.  

Let me explain!

Lāhainā Noon is a term only coined in the 1990s after Bishop Museum in Hawaii in the naming contest they sponsored.

Still confused? Hear me out.

Eagle-eyed ancient Hawaiians had been noticing this strange phenomenon for eons.

They observed that the sun cast no shadow during noontime; on selected days of the year; and each island seems to have its turn of experiencing this strange event.

To be specific, Lāhainā Noon can occur anywhere from 12:16 to 12:43 p.m. Hawaiian local time (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time).

Image credit: Daniel Ramirez

This has happened in 2001, during noon time in Hilo Island of Hawaii between the dates of 18 May and July 24; Kahului, Maui on 24 May and 18 July; Honolulu, Oahu on 26 May and 15 July; and Lihue, Kauai on 31 May and 18 July. 

Going back to the origin of the name.  

It came from the Hawaiian language lā hainā, which is an old name for Lahaina, Hawaii, meaning “cruel sun.”

Ancient Hawaiian called this occurrence was kau ka lā i ka lolo which translates as “the sun rests on the brains.”

This phenomenon is a pretty common manifestation if you happen to live between the Tropical Cancer and Tropical Capricorn and it usually occur after the summer solstice. 


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