One of the most spectacular volcanic tunnels in the world runs all the way from the Volcán de la Corona to the sea. You may be wondering how on earth it was formed? Well, it started with a river of lava and as the top layer started to cool down, it formed a solid crust whilst the molten lava continued to flow beneath. As the lava slowed down and eventually stopped, it emptied into the sea and left behind a hollow tube. In some places the roof of the tunnel caved in, providing access to the cavern below. In Lanzarote, these holes are called jameos. From high atop La Corona you can make out about 20 such jameos in a row down towards the sea.
What makes this one of the most fascinating volcanic tunnels in the world is the combination of its sheer size, 7.8 metres in length, and the fact that two sections are open to the public thanks to the creative vision of César Manrique and Jesús Soto who devised the truly beautiful Jameos del Agua and the Cueva de los Verdes.
A visit to the Jameos del Agua soon reveals another reason why this tunnel is so special: the water. At the time of the eruption the sea level was about 100 meters lower than at present as a large part of the water was frozen during the glacial period. What’s more, the coast was about 1600 metres further out than currently, so the river of lava and back cave reached that far out. When this ice melted, the sea level rose and flooded much of the tunnel. This submerged area is called the ‘Tunnel of Atlantis’ – a scientist’s dream come true, as it is home to whole host of small species of creatures that are unique in the world.