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HomeEuropeEthiopia's blue volcano burns deadly sulphuric gas

Ethiopia’s blue volcano burns deadly sulphuric gas

by Clare Wilson

Posted on New Scientist (Image: Olivier Grunewald)
Posted on New Scientist (Image: Olivier Grunewald)

IT’S a volcano, but not as we know it. This cerulean eruption takes place in the Danakil Depression, a low-lying plain in Ethiopia. The volcano’s lava is the usual orange-red – the blue comes from flames produced when escaping sulphuric gases burn. Read more on New Scientist



  1. A most amazing phenomenon indeed,
    such a strong blue flame,
    quite a shame it is so deadly to breath around,
    ors it would make a great tourist attraction.
    There seems to be some mix up from New Scientist as,
    this photo is actually from the,
    Kawah Ijen volcano in East Java,
    anyway, for the reason stated above and
    the effect of the acidic gases on camera itself,
    it’s probably not too wise to visit too many such sites.

  2. My apologies if i have added to the confusion about this photo,
    It is all over the internet, most places have it as the Kawah Ijen volcano and less have it as the Ethiopian volcano.
    The confusion is added to in that some publications carry this story from New Scientist as breaking news because they posted it at the end of may, however New Scientist have not dated the eruption.
    The earliest date I can find for use of this picture is 30th January 2014 in the National Geographic comment section.
    In some publications one of the Java eruption photos is used for the Ethiopian volcano eruption.
    After all of this, it would be interesting to know just when the eruption in the photo occurred.


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