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This Indonesian Volcano Burns Electric-Blue Lava

By Alex Moretti


Updated on

Frech photographer took these amazing photos of an Indonesian volcano that spouts electric blue lava, without any photo filter or digital enhancement.

Olivier Grunewald was shooting a documentary at Indonesia’s Kawah Ijen volcano while he managed to take these incredible snaps. While he didn’t use any special photo equipment, bare in mind that he wore a special suite. I know how we placeaholics like to go and see for ourselves the miracles of mother Earth, but this time take extra care, sulfur gases can easily damage your respiratory system. Long story short, the Kawah Ijen volcano can kill you even withoutits lava touching you.

Contrary to what you might have learned about these photos on other websites, this unusual blue glow is not actually lava itself but the combustion of sulfuric gases that come in contact with air at temperatures over 360°C.

This unusual blue glow is not actually lava itself but the combustion of sulfuric gases that come in contact with air at temperatures over 360°C

Extremely high quantities of sulfuric gases emerge at such high pressure and combined with temperatures exceeding 500°C are the main ingredient in creating such an amazing color. Once they get in contact with the oxygen in the air, the sulfur starts burning, and its flames are the ones you can see in the photos.

If you did take our advice about wearing special equipment, and are eager to see this wonder for yourself, there’s one more thing you should know – you can only witness this magical show during the night. During daytime you’ll only get to see the lava, which looks like any other lava around the world, but because only the flames are blue, the night-time is the showtime. Pretty sure once you’ll get there and get that extra-terrestrial feeling, you’ll want to stay and see the miracle both day and night.

Getting back to Olivier Grunewald, make sure to visit his website and check out his other works, maybe not as dramatic and surreal like the one here, but they’ll surely give you that “where is that, let’s go there” kinda feeling we all know and love.

Volcano blue flames
Volcano blue flames
Electric Blue Lava
Blue flames burn in the crater of the Kawah Ijen volcano in East Java, Indonesia.
Kawah Ijen volcano
Escaped at gaseous state from the Kawah Ijen crater on Java Island in Indonesia sulfur combusts on contact with air, liquefies and run in impressive rivers of blue flames.
blue lava volcano indonesia
Not on Mars. This blue lava river actually flows in Indonesia
electric blue lava indonesia
Sulphuric gases from the volcano ignite into blue flames when they come into contact with the air
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About Alex Moretti

Adventure junkie, content creator and storyteller, Alex left his nine-to-five career lifestyle to become a full time world traveler. He started his journey to the unknown 5 years ago and visited more than 30 countries and 400 cities ever since. Learn more about Placeaholic's Editorial Process.

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