Experiences - Asia

The Tri-Coloured Lakes of Mount Kelimutu


Mount Kelimutu volcano, with its striking tri-colored crater lakes, is the most amazing natural phenomenon in central Flores, Indonesia and the world. The crest of the same volcano has three different coloured lakes all situated close to one another. Currently, one of the lakes is black-brown, other is green, and the third one is in the process of changing from green to a reddish color.

Mount Kelimutu


The reason though not proven, has two explanations. Scientists believe the reason for the color changing waters in all the three lakes is due to the varying chemical reactions from the mineral contents (oxides and salts in suspension) in the water, perhaps triggered by the volcano’s gas activities. This may also be a result of minor volcanic eruptions where magma heated ground water to temperatures of of up to 1,170 °C in ancient time.

kelimutu 2

According to ancient folklore embedded in Asian culture, Mount Kelimutu was and is still believed to be the place where the spirits of the dead go to rest. Another reason for this myth is the thick mist surrounding the peculiar coloured lakes, giving the mountain a supernatural reputation. And the irony lies in the fact that the just beyond the mountain lies the island’s most famous Tempat Anhker, a mystical haunted place. The local people also believe that the change of colours of the lakes is caused by neglected ancestral souls.

The lakes are a must-visit for any enthusiastic explorer. Make sure you don’t miss out.

Image Courtesy:  …your local connection , Michael Day and michel candel used under the Creative Commons Licence

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