Last Updated: January 13, 2024, 10:00 IST
The undated video was taken at Indonesia’s Kawah Ijen volcano. (Image Credits: Twitter/gunsnrosesgirl3)
The blue lava phenomenon is caused by abundance of sulphur pockets in the rock.
A stunning video of electric-blue flames erupting from a volcano is raking in likes on X (formerly Twitter). This undated video was reportedly taken at Indonesia’s Kawah Ijen volcano. The Kawah Ijen is a composite volcano located in the easternmost part of Java Island in Indonesia. It is a major sulfur mining site. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of tourists who have ventured near the mining site to see the ‘blue’ sulfur volcano at night. The blue lava and fire that emits from the volcano are caused by the burning of sulfurous gases.
As per National Geographic, when the volcano’s sulfuric gasses emerge from the volcano and react with the air, they combust into big blue flames. These flames can be up to 16 feet high. Some of the gases get condensed into liquid sulfur and flow down the slopes, giving an appearance of ‘blue lava’ tricking down.
Commenting on the above-mentioned video, an X user described the video as “This is the most beautiful molten fire I have ever seen.” Another person wrote, “This volcano is amazing, LOOK how the sulfur flows like water from the tap.” “Wow, I’ve never seen lava like that before. O would guess it is attributed to a high concentration of a certain element like cobalt or sulfur. The colour is beautiful,” wrote the third.
The Ijen volcano complex also houses the Kawah Ijen Crater Lake. This lake is filled with hydrochloric acid which gives it a green appearance. The lake’s water turned into hydrochloric acid after its water reacted with the volcano’s hydrogen chloride gas.
Unfortunately despite its growing popularity, the Ijen volcano complex continues to have unprotected sulfur mining. Cynthia Werner, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, told National Geographic, when she visits the volcano complex she leaves gas masks for miners. She said, “We usually bring gas masks and leave them there with the people we work with, because sometimes they don’t know that what they are breathing is harmful.”