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PHOTOS: Astounding Tri-Colored Crater Lakes

Camille Mann
Published: March 20, 2013

The three crater lakes of Kelimutu volcano in Indonesia are seen in a satellite photo. (Google Earth)

Crater lakes on their own are amazing natural wonders, but the crater lakes of Kelimutu volcano in Indonesia are even more striking. They are each a different color despite being at the crest of the same volcano.

Tiwu Ata Mbupu or the “Lake of Old People” the westernmost of the three lakes is the darkest in color, appearing to look brown in photos. Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai or the “Lake of Young Men and Maidens” is typically a greenish tint and the last lake Tiwu Ata Polo or “Bewitched or Enchanted Lake” appears to be a darker shade of green and sometimes blue in photos.

The three lakes periodically vary in color independent of each other. Geologists believe the three lakes change color as a result of chemical reactions between the minerals in the lakes and volcanic gas.

Local villages believe the spirits of the dead go to rest in one of the three lakes based on what they have done on Earth- hence the lakes' names.

The tri-colored crater lakes are a little over 30 miles away form Ende, Indonesia on Flores Island.

MORE: Incredible Cliff Cities

A view of Acapulco, Mexico. (Flickr/Quiltsalad)


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