The Deceptive Beauty of Indonesia’s Deadly Acid Volcano

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Image: Bertrand Claude

Despite the large amount mined from Kawah Ijen, volcanologists believe only 20 percent of the total sulfur available there is being extracted. So there is not much chance of the mine ever running out.

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Image: Bertrand Claude

If there is any job on Earth that could be described as hellish, it’s sulfur mining on Kawah Ijen. Every day the miners’ work requires them to break up and haul heavy loads of solidified sulfur, once known as brimstone, through toxic gasses and over difficult terrain. All this is done with little in the way of protective clothing or equipment.

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