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Alofaaga Blowholes
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  • States:
    American Samoa

A site of natural wonder and flying coconuts in American Samoa.

These awe-inspiring blowholes are situated on a scenic coastline near the Taga village on the Samoan island of Savai’i. (You’ll sometimes hear them referred to as the Taga blowholes.)

The Alofaaga blowholes and others like them developed thanks to lava flows that gradually carved out underwater caves. These sea caves grew upwards towards the land until they became tunnels connecting the ocean to the rock face above. When water breaks against the seaward end of one of the Taga tunnels, it rushes into the tube, erupting through the hole above ground in a waterspout that may be as high as 20 meters, but is often much higher. The accompanying water pressure also causes a loud puffing sound, that punctuates each gush of seawater.

Most of the land in Samoa is under customary ownership, in which land is owned by indigenous communities and administered under their jurisdiction. For this reason, the entrance to the blowholes is through the Taga village, and visitors pay a small fee to visit the natural wonder. First-time visitors may feel inclined to step back from the surging spray, but villagers have no such qualms. For another small fee, locals throw coconuts in the vent right before the big blow. The nuts rocket even higher than the water jet, easily reaching 100 feet. For the best show, come at high tide (and expect to get wet).

Know Before You Go

The Blowholes are open for viewing every day from 8 AM to 5 PM, except Sundays, when they are open from 12 PM to 5 PM.

Content originally created for Atlas Obscura.

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