What’s more beautiful than a picturesque lake you ask? A lake that can change color with seasons, can appear all of a sudden or vanish with the blink of an eyelid, a lake that can expand and contract within days, and a lake that can be inviting at one instant and turn deadly the next. Wonder what we are talking about here? The answer is obvious; crater lakes!
Enjoying direct connections with the innermost regions of the planet, these crater lakes are formed in volcanic craters or in craters created by meteorite impacts. Irrespective of how they are formed, these lakes are known for their mystic, spectacular beauty and are a sight for sore eyes indeed. So here are some of the most fascinating crater lakes around the world that are known for much more than their picturesque beauty and surroundings.
The Kelimutu Crater Lake in Indonesia
Located on the Flores Island, the Kalimetu Crater Lake is actually an amalgamation of three different summit craters housing three different colored lakes, thanks the minerals found in the depths of the craters.
The individual crater lakes that form the Kalimetu Crater Lake include the Tiwu Ata Mbupu (translates to the ‘Lake of Old People’) which is constantly blue, the TiwuNuwaMuri Koo Fai (translates to the ‘Lake of Young Men and Maidens’) which is constantly green (or) red; and the Tiwu Ata Polo (translates to the ‘Enchanted Lake’) which is constantly either green (or) red.
The Oakama Crater Lake in Japan
Located atop the Mount Zao in the Honsh mountain range in Japan is the famed Okama Crater Lake, named so in the Japanese language for its unique ability to change color with every season. Called the ‘Five Color Pond’ in English, the Okama Crater Lake is a volcanic Crater Lake and almost 200 feet deep. Numerous tourists flock to the shores of the lake every year, probably every season every year to witness the striking color changes it undergoes.
Lake Atitlan in Guatemala
Considered to be one of the most picturesque crater lake on earth and possibly the deepest lake in Central America, Lake Atitlan is located in a crater that was formed due to volcanic activity almost 84000 years ago.
The lake is considered to be almost 340 meters deep at certain places and is yet to be fully explored by scientists and geologists. The areas surrounding the lake are also known for their cultural history and geology.
The Kerid Crater Lake in Iceland
Imagine a crater lake located in Iceland? And yet, the Kerid Crater Lake in South Ireland is one of those lakes that is famous for its serene, mystical beauty. Located along the Golden Circle, a very popular tourist route in the Grimsnes area, the lake is a part of several other lakes that make up the nation’s Western Volcanic Zone (including the Langjokill Glacier and the Rrykjanes Peninsula).
The crater housing the lake is one that has remained intact over several years of changing landscapes. Over 3000 years old, the crater is known for its red volcanic rock that makes the lake and the surrounding areas stand out in a burst of vivid colors against an otherwise dark and somber landscape.
Lake Nyos in Cameroon
Although renowned for its beauty, Lake Nyos is one of those crater lakes whose views you would rather enjoy from a safe distance. The lake is located at the top of an inactive volcano and has the ability to change colors rapidly.
However, the lake is directly exposed to volcanic vents located on its bed that release carbon dioxide into the water. The result? Lake Nyos is saturated with the lethal gas and can be potentially fatal for your health if you try to get a closer look.
The Nemrut Lake in Turkey
This is definitely one of those must visit natural wonders that can leave you staring at it with your mouth open for hours on end. Located atop a 3050 meter high mountain, the Nemrut Lake is actually divided into two different lakes of contrasting appearance and nature.
This includes the cold water lake on one side that stretches for over 13 square kilometers and is nearly 155 meters deep, and the neighboring hot water lake that is nearly 100 meters deep and is shockingly, very hot at 60 °c. Now imagine a frozen ice lake and a hot geyser like lake sitting right next to each other without any kind of visible wall between them. Baffled? We are too!
The Inferno Crater Lake in New Zealand
Located in the Waimangu Volcanic Valley, the Inferno Crater Lake is the stuff dreams are made of! What can only be described as a simply stunning sight, awaits you in this geothermal area, and was apparently created when a volcanic eruption formed a hole on the side of Mount Hazard.
The water of the lake is extremely warm and a brilliant turquoise blue in color, almost like a pristine blue beach you would find in the Caribbean. And on certain days, you can actually see the steam arising from the water to confront the cold air above. Really a spectacular sight to behold!