Years after volcanic eruption has cooled down, crater lakes are formed in the place of the caldera or volcanic crater. Sometimes and uncommonly, the creation of these lakes is also attributed to a meteorite hit. Ranging from breathtakingly beautiful to extremely dangerous, these crater lakes are considered a source of fresh water and of course, as a major add-on to nature’s beauty.
Here is a list of the ten most beautiful crater lakes in the world.
10. Crater Lake Okama, Mt. Zao–Honshu, Japan
Also known as the five-color pond, the Okama Crater Lake is situated in Mount Zao, which is a complex volcano located in Japan between the Yamagata and Miyagi Prefectures. The Okama Crater Lake was formed in an eruption around the year 1720 and is renowned as the lake that has varied colors with changes in the climatic conditions. The lake has a diameter of 360 meters and a depth of 60 meters, and is considered a major tourist attraction spot in the region.
9. Crater Lake Mount Ruapehu– New Zealand
One of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mount Ruapehu is the largest volcano in New Zealand. The caldera fills water between major volcanic eruptions to form a crater lake. The deep Crater Lake is situated at the centre of the 3 major peaks, Tahurangi, Te Heuheu and Paretetaitonga. On major explosions, the lake water is expelled out along with volcanic debris.
8. Viti Geothermal Crater Lake, Askja–Iceland
Nestled in Iceland’s Askja, a complex of all the calderas existing in the nearby mountainsides, the Viti Geothermal crater lake is a small lake about 150 meters in diameter. The original lake, a large one called Oskjuvtan was formed in an 1875 eruption and fills many of the small craters in the surrounding zone. Viti forms the second deepest lake in Iceland, and is frozen most of the year. The waters are blue, sulphurous and opaque. Although the lake is maintained at a suitable temperature, swimming here is hazardous due to the carbon dioxide accumulation at the surface, that causes swimmers to lose consciousness and drown.
7. Main Crater Lake at Vulcan Point, Taal Volcano–Luzon Philippines
Known to be a picturesque sight and tourist attraction in the Philippines, the Taal Crater Lake, formed by prehistoric eruptions, is situated 50 kilometres from Manila. The Taal volcano has been known for its 33 past eruptions and still continues to be an active volcano in the Philippines. At the centre of the caldera, a single large rock rises up from the surface, which is considered to have once been the floor of the crater. The Main Crater Lake is 1.2 miles wide in diameter and partially covers the Taal volcano crater. From the Taygaytay Bridge, both the volcano and the lake form breathtakingly scenic sights.
6. Heaven Lake, Baekdu Mountain– China, North Korea
Resting on the border between China and North Korea, the Heaven Lake is a gorgeous crater lake that does justice to its name. In 969 AD, the lake was first formed due to a volcanic explosion of the Baekdu Mountain volcano. The lake now has a depth of 699 feet. From October to mid-June sheet of ice covers the lake. Legend has it that Kim Jong-II, the supreme leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, was born near this lake. North Korean news agencies filed in that on his death the ice on the Heaven Lake cracked with a sound so loud that it seemed to “shake the Heavens and the Earth.”
5. Crater Lake Mount Pinatubo–Luzon, Philippines
The Pinatubo eruption on June 15, 1991 is also known to be second largest eruption of the 20th century. A caldera of diameter 2.5 kilometres was formed in its place and was filled by early September of 1991. With a depth of 800 meters, this lake is the deepest lake in the Philippines.
4. Quilotoa Crater Lake, Ecuador
A fairly colossal explosion measuring 6 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index in the Ecuadorian Andes, caused the formation of the Quilotoa crater lake, 800 years ago. The lake is 820 feet deep and throws a green hue in the light. The reason is attributed to the dissolved minerals present in the water. Hot springs exist on the eastern flank of the volcano, and fumaroles are found on the floor of the lake.
3. Crater Lake, Mount Katmai–Alaska, USA
In 1912, this Alaskan Crater Lake was formed caused by the Novarupta eruption. Mount Katmai Crater Lake is situated within the Katmai National Park. The large stratovolcano is a place of scenic beauty and has a diameter of about 10 km (6.3 miles) with a central caldera about 4.5 by 3 km in area. The lake is over 240 meters (800 ft) deep.
2. Crater Lake, Mount Mazama, Oregon USA
Around 7,700 years in a 2148-foot deep caldera created by the collapse of Mount Mazama, a volcano in Oregon, USA, and the Crater Lake was formed and continues to partially fill this hole. It is considered as the deepest lake in the US, and ranks ninth in the list of the world’s deepest lake. Crater Lake in Oregon has a depth of 1,949 feet! The lake is filled by rain and snow, thus making it a source of fresh water.
1. Kelimutu Crater Lakes – Indonesia
Kelimutu, a volcano in central Flores Island of Indonesia in the town of Moni, has three awe-inspiring summit crater lakes, which are listed, among the most striking crater lakes round the globe. On a periodic basis, these lakes are known to possess different colours. The three lakes, the Tiwu Ata Mbupu, the Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai and the Tiwu Ata Polo, even though at the crest of the same volcano, have varied colours. The Tiwu Ata Mbupu has a teal blue colour. The water of the Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai reflects green while the Tiwu Ata Polo is red.
These extravagant lakes of beauty only fulfil the list by a part. Many other unique crater lakes, associated with historical eruptions continue to exist on the face of the earth.