The Beauty Acidity … Ijen Crater

Indonesia is located in an area known as the ring of fire. The areas in Indonesia is dominated by the many mountains that are still active until now. One of them is known as the Ijen Crater. The most amazing Indonesian volcano, Ijen crater, is located on the top of Mount Ijen at an altitude of 2368 meters above sea level. Mount Ijen is one of a series of volcanoes in East Java such as Bromo, Semeru and Merapi. Mount Ijen is located east of Mount Merapi (same name as the mountain in Central Java, Mount Merapi). Ijen Crater is in Ijen Travel Park Reserve and located in the District of Licin, Banyuwangi and Sub Klobang, Bondowoso district.

Many tourist interested with Ijen Crater, but why ?The beauty of this crater is located in the center of the caldera of the largest on the island of Java. Caldera size about 20 kilometers and size of the crater itself is around 960 meters x 600 meters with a depth of 200 meters. The crater is located at depths greater than 300 meters below the caldera wall. which has a lake made of 36 million cubic meters representing a solution of sulfuric acid and hydrogen chloride, the most powerful existing acids. The lake contains 600,000 tonnes of hydrogen chloride, 550,000 tonnes of sulfuric acid, 200,000 tonnes of aluminium sulphate and 170,000 tonnes of iron sulphate. On the edges of the lake, the fumaroles (volcanic gas eruptions) depose 4 tonnes of sulfur daily. Other than Ijen Crater, there is such acid lake likes where found on the volcanoes Kusatsu-Shirane (Japan) and Poas (Costa Rica), but the Indonesian lake is by far the largest acid lake on Earth, having a maximum depth of 212m (706ft).

This crater has a very high acidity level that is close to zero so can you imagine if the human body is exposed, they can dissolve quickly. Wanna try ?. I guess not since in addition, the temperature of the crater could reached 200 degrees Celsius adds amazed at this huge crater. However, behind the numbers that make these fears, it presents enchanting beauty crater which was also amazing. The other beauty of what you can get at Ijen Crater.Conditions of high acidity can produce sulfur fumes that can make irritate the respiratory tract. But people from the neighboring area extract sulfur from the crater manually. At Ijen Crater, they hang their life.

Starting morning, the workers build tunnels of stone and undulated plates to channel the sulfur-rich fumaroles. The sulfur then leaks, cools down and solidifies inside these improvised channels, which are subsequently broken using metal piles. The recovered stuff contains 99 % sulfur. The sulfur is made into pieces, loaded in baskets and transported on the men’s back outside the crater. In the irritating and corrosive atmosphere of the crater, people’s only protection is a piece of fabric used for covering their mouths and noses. Suprising..!!!. They know the effect of it, but they couldn’t do anything. It’s their life.

Each worker can transport 40 to 70kg (90 to 155 pounds) at once on the abrupt slopes of the volcano, using bamboo ladders where the slope is too steep. They got money IDR900/kg. What a hard job
Many people are not grateful for what has been obtained at this time,  let alone obtained in an easy way. It may be necessary to visit the Ijen Crater and see daily activities of its local people to be grateful for what has been received today. Do not grumble. That is the real beauty of Ijen Crater.

If the foreigners proudly visited the Ijen Crater, why not us, Indonesian.
Have a great travelling and create your own journey.
With Leisure,
Bondowoso/Banyuwangi, 15 Sept 2012


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