These three volcanic lakes located in Indonesia (on Mount Kelimutu, in the center of Flores island) show a rather unusual chromatic variation, which changes with the seasons. For centuries this phenomenon has fascinated local populations and has given rise to the most varied legends. According to one of the most handed down beliefs their color would be attributable to the moods of the spirits that inhabit the region. Legends aside, however, no official research has yet been conducted that is able to scientifically explain the chromatic difference of three lakes so close to each other; it seems that the phenomenon is due to the different types of gas that are released during volcanic activity.
The Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai has an emerald green color, and shares one of the walls with the Tiwu Ata Polo, which varies from red to brown which in some seasons seems almost black.
The last of the three lakes, the largest and most famous, is the deep blue Tiwu Ata Mbupu. According to legend, this lake represents purification, and would be inhabited by the spirits of the deceased elders. For this reason it is also called “the lake of the elderly”.