Kelimutu Crater Lakes

About

These three lakes have baffled scientists for centuries - as they spontaneously change colour. Lake Kelimutu, which sits atop Mount Kelimutu on Flores Island, Indonesia, is made up of three crater lakes. Although they sit side by side on the crest of the same volcano, are all strikingly different in their appearance.

Visitors are never quite sure what color the lakes will be when they reach the top due to the chemical reactions that take place in the water.

Considered by locals as the resting place of departed souls, each lake is known by separate names - Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People or Ancestors), Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched Lake). 

The Lake of Old People is usually blue, while the other two lakes, Lake of Young Men and Maidens and Bewitched Lake, are separated by a shared crater wall and are typically green or red. 

However, the lakes have been known to turn black and even white due to chemical reactions which take place.


Kelimutu is of interest to geologists because the three lakes are different colors yet are at the crest of the same volcano.

The color of the water changes thanks to chemical reactions from the minerals in the lake being triggered by volcanic gas activity, according to the local officer at Kelimutu National Park.



Considered by locals as the resting place of departed souls, each lake is known by separate names - Tiwu Ata Mbupu (Lake of Old People or Ancestors), Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai (Lake of Young Men and Maidens) and Tiwu Ata Polo (Bewitched Lake). 

The Lake of Old People is usually blue, while the other two lakes, Lake of Young Men and Maidens and Bewitched Lake, are separated by a shared crater wall and are typically green or red. 

However, the lakes have been known to turn black and even white due to chemical reactions which take place.


Kelimutu is of interest to geologists because the three lakes are different colors yet are at the crest of the same volcano.

The color of the water changes thanks to chemical reactions from the minerals in the lake being triggered by volcanic gas activity, according to the local officer at Kelimutu National Park.