By Mark McConville
A BLUE burning volcano has been captured in all its eerie glory as astounded tourists look on.
The stunning photographs and footage show tourists at the Kawah Ijen volcano in Indonesia as 16-foot-high blue flames illuminate the night sky.
The blue glow from the volcano isn’t the lava itself which is a similar colour to most other volcanoes.
There is a high quantity of sulphuric gas at Kawah Ijen which when exposed to the oxygen in the air and sparked by the lava burns a bright blue.
The spectacular shots were taken by travel planner Donny Nugraha Pratama (32) from Tangerang, Indonesia.
“Kawah Ijen is one of the only blue fires in the world with the rest in Iceland,” he said.
“I like travelling and I always bring my camera as I am happy to capture these moments. As long as I see the moment I will not lose the chance.
“People often ask me how I manage to get the pictures but if you love what you have and what you do it is easy.”
Kawah Ijen is also home to sulphur mines where miners risk their lives to extract sulphuric rock, which is formed after the blue flames have gone out and the sulphur gas has cooled and combined with the lava to form solidified rock. This is used in the food and chemical industries.
The miners carry rock-filled baskets by hand down the mountains which sell for around 680 Indonesia rupiahs per kilogram, the equivalent of about three pence.
The Ijen volcano complex is a group of composite volcanoes in the Banyuwangi Regency of East Java, Indonesia.
It is inside a larger caldera Ijen, which is about 12 miles wide. The Gunung Merapi stratovolcano is the highest point of that complex. The name “Gunung Merapi” means “mountain of fire” in the Indonesian language.
Kawah Ijen has also become a popular tourist attraction due to its unique blue flame and a two-hour hike is required to reach the rim of the crater followed by a 45-minute hike to the bank of the crater.
The flames can be up to 16-foot high when some of the gas condenses to liquid while still ignited. It is the largest blue flame area in the world and local people refer to it as Blue Fire.
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