Formed by a volcanic eruption over 230,000 years ago, Molokini is a crescent-shaped crater islet located in the Pacific Ocean between the Makena side of Maui and the Kahoolawe Island Reserve in Hawaii.
Historical evidence illustrates that between 500 AD and the 1940s, Molokini was a popular point of interest among native Hawaiian fishers, but it was during World War II when this long standing economical source vanished. The United States Navy used Molokini for target practice because its shape was regarded as being somewhat similar to a battleship. After WWII, cleanup ensued, as the islet was later declared a Marine Life Conservation District in 1977.
Today, Molokini is a popular tourist destination for scuba diving and snorkelling, as the crescent shape protects divers from waves and the channel’s powerful currents. The crater is home to a lush coral reef and to over 250 marine species, which most commonly includes black triggerfish, yellow tang, Moorish idol, parrotfish, raccoon butterflyfish, bluefin trevally, whitetip reef sharks, and moray eels.