The active Kawah Ijen Volcano in Banywang Regency, Java is one of the world’s most extraordinary volcanoes. Instead of producing the usual red lava and black smoke, its underground activities result in electric blue lava and flames rising into the air.
Kawah Ijen’s fabled blue lava has long drawn the curious to Java. Here, on this stunning Indonesian island, the volcano’s spectacular eruptions are a sight to behold. The phenomenon has long fascinated scientists. But although the colours cannot be questioned, the underlying cause is not as most believe. The lava here is not originally blue, but becomes it due to a natural phenomenon. Indeed, the volcano has some of the highest levels of sulfur in the world and when the volcano’s sulfuric gases come into contact with air temperature above 360°C, the lava turns blue.
An other interesting fact about this place is that it’s home to one of the world’s most dangerous sulfur mining operations in the world. The working conditions are precarious, and the workers being exposed to the toxic sulfur gases for long periods of time develop long-term health issues. Interested in visiting? Don’t adventure here on your own. A really cool thing to do is a night guided group tour to the volcano to see the blue flames phenomenon.