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Kawah Ijen

Listed under Volcanoes in Banyuwangi, Indonesia.

  • Photo of Kawah Ijen
  • Photo of Kawah Ijen
  • Photo of Kawah Ijen
  • Photo of Kawah Ijen
  • Photo of Kawah Ijen
  • Photo of Kawah Ijen
Photo of Kawah Ijen
Photo by mikelyvers
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The crater of constantly fuming Kawah Ijen contains the most acidic lake in the world, a hot mixture of hydrochloric, hydrofluoric and sulphuric acids at a pH of less than 0.2 – which means swimming is definitely out of the question. A sulphurous lava dome at the edge of the lake continuously pours out hot caustic gases and molten sulphur which is collected by poorly-paid sulphur miners. As one descends the steep trail down to the beautiful but deadly turquoise crater lake, foul gas clouds boil up from below, a line of slave-like sulphur miners struggles ever upward under their heavy loads, and you may feel as if you are in some nightmarish scene from Lord of the Rings. The streams of red molten sulphur pouring out of the dome are not nearly as hot as true lava but can still burn so don’t touch! As these flows cool they turn from red to orange to bright yellow. The hottest vents on the dome emit flames that glow blue at night. Kawah Ijen is definitely a surreal experience!

Written by  Mike Lyvers.

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