These colour changing crater lakes of Mount Kelimutu located in central Flores island of Indonesia, showcase a picturesque natural phenomenon. By Tanvi Jain
In what could be termed as a traveller’s dream, the three lakes at the summit of Mount Kelimutu in Flores, Indonesia, don’t just differ in terms of their colour, but also keep changing the colours all the time.
While Mount Kelimutu’s westernmost lake—Tiwu ata Mbupu also called Lake of Old People is usually blue, Lake Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai or the Lake of Young Men and Maidens is typically green, and Tiwu Ata Polo known as Bewitched or Enchanted Lake is usually red.
The lakes have a capability of changing colours, at times even turning all black as well. As per reports, a few years ago the lakes were white, turquoise and red in colour. Almost a decade ago they turned black, turquoise, and coca-cola brown, and again after some time into different shades of green.
Unlike other lakes where certain bacteria and species are responsible for a change in colour, here it’s a bit more mysterious, especially because the changes occur quite often. However, some believe it’s because of the volcanic gas which upon interacting with the water, give it mercurial shades, but nothing has been proven yet.
As far as their unique names are concerned, they have been given by the locals on the basis of another belief that they are resting place for the departed souls, and Mae, the god of afterlife, sends the deceased to different lakes depending upon their deeds.
The best time to visit the place is in July and August. If you manage to wake up at 3:30 am, you can easily catch the sunrise at Mount Kelimutu. Hiking around the volcano is also recommended before driving back.