Bad Luck If You Take Home Hawaiian Lava Rock: Here’s Why

HONOLULU (KHON2) – More than 3,500 rock, sand and coral packages are returned to Hawaii‘s national parks annually. Whether tourists accidentally carry a rock or snatch one on purpose, taking natural objects off the island is considered bad luck.

Bennadette Duman, aka Honeygirl, is the Interpretation and Education Specialist for Haleakalā National Park. She said they receive thousands of stolen items from Haleakalā National Park every year. Something she said is a big problem.

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“We actively educate park visitors so they learn that removing rocks from Haleakalā National Park (36 CFR 2.1) and other national parks is both culturally inappropriate and illegal.”

Honeygirl said it’s very inappropriate to take rocks out of Hawaii’s national parks and that with summer tourists booking their trips now, it’s a good time to remind them.

“Many learn that from the smallest rocks to the highest peaks, Haleakalā is regarded by Hawaiians as their ancestor,” Honeygirl said. “The rocks also provide habitat for rare plants and animals. By leaving stones in place, we respect Hawaiian beliefs and help nature thrive.”

Courtesy: NPS Photo/Honeygirl Duman

Honeygirl said she doesn’t think it’s necessarily illegal to take items out of national parks, but it does open the door to what some people would call bad luck.

For those people who might feel guilty about grabbing a rock or taking a bottle of sand, you can return these items by sending them to the park you took them from. However, this does not undo the bad deed as the item will never be in its original place.

“Once rocks, sand and coral are taken, they will never go back to their original place because we don’t know where they really came from,” Honeygirl said. “Instead of taking home a precious chunk of our natural resources, take a picture instead!”

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Respect for Hawaiian land is vital for visitors, as is an understanding of how important every rock, grain of sand, or plant is and plays a vital role in making the islands so special.

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