Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mud Volcanoes of Baratang Island

Have you ever visited or seen a mud volcano before? The chances are quite slim as these breed of volcanoes are few and far between.

But, if you happen to be in India and wish to visit such a place, then the tropical Baratang Island, nestled in the Andaman Islands of India should be your go-to destination.

This was my first mud volcano visit too. I have heard so much about volcanoes and how they erupt and spew lava, but hardly knew anything about a mud volcano.

So, when I did visit this place, I was in for a surprise. I soon found out that a mud volcano is very much the opposite of a traditional volcano. It does erupt like a lava volcano, but the eruption is cold. The traditional lava volcano after eruption creates fertile grounds, while the mud volcano renders the entire eruption site infertile.

In my mind, I had visualized a large conical structure, but this mud volcano ended up being puny in size. It was only later that the found out that that the size of the volcano cone is caused by the intensity of the eruption. If the eruption is large, then the volcano looks bigger due to the larger amount of mud outflow.

While I was at the mud volcano site, I could see some mild activity and some bubbles and gases that were being emitted. The entire volcano area is fenced to carry out scientific testing and as a safety precaution. Overall, a very good learning experience for me. Now, I know what a mud volcano really means!!

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