Spectacular natural phenomenon – Otherworldly blue fire crater at the Kawah Ijen volcano


Despite toxic gases and high temperatures, Reuben Wu, Chicago-based photographer, music producer and filmmaker, wearing googles and a respirator, descended narrow trails in the base of the Blue Fire Crater to capture these alien photographs of electric blue molten sulphur flows at the Kawah Ijen volcano, Indonesia in July. Molten sulphur spewing from fumaroles at Kawah Ijen is called “Blue Fire” by locals, the world’s largest blue flame area, which appears red during the day and blue under moonlight in the dead of night. This dangerous yet alluring site attracts thousands of visitors a day to climb the volcano at 3am, involving a two-hour hike to reach the rim of the crater, followed by a 45-minute descending down to the bank. The sulphur flows are very close to the fumaroles and the chemical gas can reach up to 600 degrees Celsius and flare up more than 5 meters high, sulphur dioxide can damage lungs and burn eyes if you breathe it without wearing googles and respirator.

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