The first human contact with the Hawaiian Islands was said to be approximately 500 A.D. Throughout their ocean voyages in and around the Hawaii Archipelago, the ancient people of Hawaii noticed that the main Hawaiian Island Chain seemed to appear more "worn" as you traveled north up the island chain.
This notion, is the roots of what is known in modern-day Hawaii as The Hawaiian Hot Spot Theory.
"The Hawaiian Islands form an archipelago that extends over a vast area of the North Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is made up of 132 islands, atolls, reefs, shallow banks, shoals, and seamounts stretching over 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaii in the southeast to Kure Atoll in the northwest."
So, the basic concept is that each one of the islands in the Hawaiian Island Chain gets older as you move northwest up the archipelago. In addition, with time and constant weathering by the elements (wind, rain, waves, UV rays), these mighty islands turn into sandbars and ultimately sink back into the ocean.
Today, there is evidence of the continuation of the Hawaiian Island Chain. Researches have discovered the Lo'ihi Seamount, an underwater volcano located approximately 20 miles off the south eastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Lo'ihi Seamount is still 3000 feet below the ocean's surface and if the Hot Spot Theory continues to hold true, we will have a 9th major Hawaiian Island in the not-so-near future.
So the next time you're sipping a Mai Tai or relaxing on the sandy beaches of Waikiki, stop for a moment to appreciate the profound nature of these secluded islands out here in the middle of the vast Pacific Ocean. Cheers!