Lake Kelimutu or ‘The three Colored Lake’

Lake Kelimutu or ‘the three colored lake’

Satellite view of Lake Kelimutu

Satellite view of Lake Kelimutu

Lake Kelimutu or ‘the three colored lake’ is three crater lakes of mount Kelimutu located on Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. The three crater lakes are one of the most hauntingly beautiful places on earth . Considered to be the resting place for departed souls, the lakes are locally referred to as “the lake of old people,” “the lake of young men and maidens” and “the lake of evil spirits”. Bizarrely, all three lakes change color dramatically and unpredictably, from blue or green to black or red.

Apart from the breathtaking scenic beauty , the place is really mystical because of the changing color of the lakes. As the first ray of sunrise touches the colorful water, inner spirituality of a person comes out.

the lake of evil spirits

the lake of evil spirits

Kelimutu is also of interest to geologists because the three lakes are different colors yet are at the crest of the same volcano. According to the local officer at Kelimutu National Park, the colour changes as a result of chemical reactions resulting from the minerals contained in the lake perhaps triggered by volcano gas activity.

The visitor is never quite sure what color the lakes will be when they reach the top as they vary significantly. Unlike other crater lakes where the color variation can be predicted, this is not the case with these three lakes. The colors you see here are blue, green and black (and they predominate) yet the lakes also change to white, red and blue too.

the lake of young men and maidens

the lake of young men and maidens

Reaching the popular sight requires a long drive on a steep and winding road. The Kelimutu volcano contains three striking summit crater lakes of varying colors. Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People) is usually blue and is the westernmost of the three lakes. The other two lakes, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched or Enchanted Lake) are separated by a shared crater wall and are typically green or red respectively. The lake colors vary on a periodic basis. Subaqueous fumaroles are the probable cause of active upwelling that occurs at the two eastern lakes.

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