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Thirty cinder cones, volcanic remnants far more ancient than the main lava fields, rise along the horizon.
In other words, El Malpais is like a pop-up textbook of the magmatic forces that shaped our planet.
It lures with a raw otherworldliness that, at the same time, is so obviously of this world.
While most of the lava field is within the national monument, parts of it and the surrounding area — including the sculpted sandstone cliffs to the east and the Chain of Craters to the south — are protected within El Malpais National Conservation Area, managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
At some hibernation spots in Eastern states, over 90 percent of wintering bats perished when their internal alarm clocks malfunctioned.
While no one knows how the fungus travels, it’s possible that people can carry it from one cave to another.
It seemed like a giant rocky gullet, over a quarter-mile long.
After throwing on a flannel shirt, strapping a headlamp to my new helmet and pulling on a pair of gloves to protect my hands from sharp rocks, I went in.
Lava tube caves are created when the surface of flowing lava cools.
“It’d be really easy to cut your head, or even knock yourself out.” For , it seemed worth it, since I hoped to avoid traumatic brain injuries while exploring the lava tubes at El Malpais National Monument.
El Malpais — Spanish for The Badlands, pronounced el-mal-pie-EES — is the common name for the Zuni-Bandera Volcanic Field, a petrified sea of buckled and bulging basalt that sprawls over 100,000-plus acres, an hour west of Albuquerque.