Kawah Ijen is one of the most extravagant volcanoes in the world due to the colour of the lava it ejects when it erupts. At first glance it’s like a bright electric blue almost as if it were of another planet. But, why is the lava of this volcano blue?
We’ll start by clarifying that it is not the lava that is blue, which is quite an unusual colour for a volcano. The blue radiance is due to the burning of sulphuric gases in contact with the air at temperatures above 360°C.
The lava of this volcano that explodes from the earth at a formidable temperature does not have a different colour from that of other volcanoes. However, the Kawah Ijen also ejects huge quantities of sulphuric gases at a high pressure and at extremely high temperatures that sometimes touch 600 °C.
So, when the sulphur is exposed to the oxygen present in the air, it bursts into flames easily and we see the gorgeous effect of electric blue lava. This effect is only visible at night. During the day it looks much like any other volcano.