Located in East Java, Kawah Ijen is a surrealistic place. There are several volcanic vents here spewing molten sulphur. Miners collect the solidified sulphur and carry them down every day. The acrid fumes, mostly suphur dioxide, burns their air passages, causing chronic cough. I believe the plight of these miners have been featured in some documentary.
I visited Kawah Ijen on a trip I led for the Singapore Adventurers’ Club some 12 years ago. The images I captured are all on 35mm slide film, so I’m sharing others’ pictures here. Note the eerie green colour of the lake. The liquid is sulphuric acid. When lake overflows, it dissolves rocks and metals, contaminating waterways. In our nightmares, the lake may even nurture some jelly-like monster.
I learned in science that sulphur burns with a blue flame. Check out the video below and see what the suphur deposits look like in the dark. I’m definitely going back to capture more images from Kawah Ijen.