The Word of the Day comes from ON EARTH WE'RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS by Ocean Vuong. It is shortlisted for the 2020 Tournament of Books.
A kīpuka is an area of land surrounded by one or more younger lava flows. A kīpuka forms when lava flows on either side of a hill, ridge, or older lava dome as it moves downslope or spreads from its source. Older and more weathered than their surroundings, kīpukas often appear to be like islands within a sea of lava flows. They are often covered with soil and late ecological successional vegetation that provide visual contrast as well as habitat for animals in an otherwise inhospitable environment. In volcanic landscapes, kīpukas play an important role as biological reservoirs or refugia for plants and animals, from which the covered land can be recolonized.