Kawah-Ijen

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Burning blue fire, driven by sulfur, at Kawah Ijen Volcano, Indonesia

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There’s a volcano in Indonesia where a fluke of chemistry creates an eerie blue glow!

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Fast paced but neat trip through Indonesia featuring a couple volcano visits, a couple waterfalls, and some wildlife.

In may 2016, we traveled in INDONESIA. We didn’t really see the beautiful beaches of Bali, but rather the volcanos of lombok, java and bali, their caves and seabeds, their culture.
Here is the movie of this quite incredible adventure.

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Photographer Reuben Wu and his wife made the pilgrimage to the Kawah Ijen crater in Indonesia this past July.  It was no small task. He hiked almost 3 hours through sulfuric fumes to capture the “lava.”

The Blue Fire Crater, as it is sometimes called, isn’t lava, but combusting sulfuric gas. Some of this gas ignites in flames up to 16 feet tall, and some becomes liquid sulfur that flows over the landscape.

Check out the video of Wu describing his experience.  

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Visit to the active sulfur mines inside Kawah Ijen crater, Indonesia - this is the site of the lava that glows blue after dark. During the day, miners in protective gear descend into this crater to mine the sulfur.

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At first glance you might think the otherworldly light in these pictures comes from a nebula or another planet deep in outer space. 
In fact it is made by burning sulphur which pours from the side of the Kawah Ijen volcano on planet Earth, which is part of the Ijen volcano complex in East Java, Indonesia. 
Miners have run ceramic pipes from vents in the side of the mountain to collection points inside a large crater where the molten chemical is left to cool before being broken up and carried away.

Photographer Olivier Grunewald, who captured some of these amazing shots, had to wear a gas mask during his expedition into the crater, and lost two lenses and a camera while trying to capture the mysterious pictures.

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