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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Volcano That Spits Electric Blue Lava

A volcanic eruption is scary. Scorching flowing lava and burning magma that burst from the crater, the accompanied earthquake upon the blast, and lastly the wreck it caused to humans economically and individually. But what if humans were not affected? Would there be a chance to appreciate a volcanic eruption? How about the volcano that spits a unique electrifying blue lava?

Volcano, Indonesia, Electric Blue, Lava
Image: Lonely Planet
Kawah Ijen Volcano is located in Java, Indonesia, amongst the complex volcanoes in Banywang Regency. It is an active volcano that had a last major eruption on 1993. There are no records of human casualties. It has boosted the country's tourism industry after the volcano details were featured in the National Geographic Channel. As the volcano often oozes blue lava from time to time, visitors who want to visit and witness this enticing phenomenon are encouraged to book group tours. However, this sighting is not easy to catch. The blue burning lava will only be visible at night and will only be enjoyed with a tour guide.

You may be wondering how and why this volcano is one of a kind. Everyone knows that lava is supposedly red. When the volcano's erupted sulfuric gases come in contact with the high oxygen concentration in the above atmosphere, hot molten lava is lit and will emit a blue color. However, this cannot be seen in broad daylight.

Volcano, Indonesia, Kawah Ijeh
If you ask if there is a difference between the usual red lava and the blue one aside from the color, the answer would be a yes and a no. No, because basically like any other volcanoes you are familiar with, Kawah Ijen Volcano also spits regular red lava. Still, because of the chemical reaction between the elements mentioned above, the combustion of blue flames arises. The only difference is that the blue lava is more dangerous to humans and animals because of sulfur's toxicity.

It is also because of the immense value of sulfur from the volcano that it brought another record-breaking lake that is the most acidic in the world. It is situated within the volcano's crater. The blended rainfall water with gases coming from deep within the volcano is what makes the lake. The water has a turquoise color and light yellowish-brown walls. The water's temperature is high, with 34-degree Celsius, with sulfur bubbles floating on the surface. The bright red sulfur gradually solidifies and turns into lemon yellow.

The abundance of sulfur in the area has become a way of living for the residents. Despite the danger of gases to human health, the residents still do sulfuric-rock mining and sell it per kilogram. There are also those who are paid per day with an average of 6$. Miners extract the sulfur rock that is formed after the blue flames are extinguished. This is also why tour guides are necessary for visitors to be accompanied since certain places with a high concentration of sulfuric gas and a gas mask are a must. Kawah Ijen Volcano remains one of the most peculiar natural attractions that always deliver grandeur promises for those who pay a visit.

Kawah Ijen Volcano
Image: Reddit

Kawah Ijen Volcano
Image: Geology Page

Kawah Ijen Volcano
Image: Amazon

Written by Yna Barcia, IFY Books

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