Blue Lava? Is that a thing?
Those were my questions, too, when I first saw some pictures. And the answer is Yes…and No. The plot thickens…
So apparently lava changes colors depending on its temperature. But, wait. We still haven’t gotten to the blue part. The “coolest” lava is bright orange, changing from bright to darker red the hotter it gets. Solid lava is black, even when it hasn’t yet cooled.
So, blue? Where does the blue come in?
Blue lava happens when sulfur gases mix in. The sulfur mixes in and burns blue. Which means the air emissions are truly toxic, and photographers who dare to get reasonably close must wear gas masks to preserve their health.
So where can you find blue lava? Several places, really, but the most significant place is at the Kawah Ijen volcano on the island of Java in Indonesia.
For more amazing pictures, check out the photography by Olivier Grunewald.
And for the most amazing geography curriculum for kids, check out Let’s Go Geography.