Even when taking photographs of a volcano for scientific analysis, who could ignore such wonderful sites as this view of Mauna Loa? One rarely gets to see such an unobstructed view of this giant volcano. Notice all of the different types of vegetation on the lower flanks, as well as the bare lava surfaces near the summit. As you may know, Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on Earth as it rises "only" 4 km above sea level, but more than 8,700 meters if measured from the ocean floor.