Indonesia’s Kawah Ijen volcano spews out blue lava thanks to its incredibly high levels of sulfur.
Volcanoes are the center of folklore and myth wherever they exist. These fiery mountains prone to unexpectedly erupting in cascades of lava and ash have inspired and frightened humans for centuries. However, there is one volcano that has a reputation that surpasses all others, Indonesia’s Kawah Ijen volcano, otherwise known as the blue volcano.
The active Kawah Ijen Volcano is part of a complex of volcanoes in Banywang Regency, Java. This popular complex is situated within the Ijen crater with stratovolcano Gunung Merapi as the highest point. It is one of the world's most unusual volcanoes because instead of producing the usual red lava and black smoke, its underground activities result in bright blue flames rising into the air.
The phenomenon is caused when the volcano's sulfuric gases come into contact with the air temperature above 360°C. The Ijen volcano complex has some of the highest levels of sulfur in the world. This dense collection of the gas, when exposed to oxygen and lit by the molten hot lava burns blue. Unlike regular volcanoes whose bright red lava is visible in the day, Kawah Ijen’s blue burning flames can only be seen at night.
Here you can also find the largest acid lake in the world which is conveniently situated within the crater. While the turquoise water of this crater lake is quite spectacular, it can also threaten your life.