Underwater volcanic sources. Pulau Weh, Sumatra, Indonesia, March 2010.

Volcanic bubbles

  Indonesia: Pulau Weh [Sumatra] - March 2010

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

Friends of bubbles, here is a little video just for you... I take you to the underwater "hot springs" of Pulau Weh. Volcanic hot springs, which give off a profusion of bubbles, a few meters below the surface!

A Jacuzzi... underwater!

You may have already seen this kind of springs on earth, with a characteristic sulfur smell (it smells like rotten eggs). There are many of them, in the volcanic regions.

Indonesia, located on the famous "belt of fire" of the earth's crust, is in fact a long string of volcanic islands. I remember having seen springs similar to the lake Danau Linownear Manado, in North Sulawesi, as well as near Lovina Beach, in the north of Bali.

But underwater, it's much more fun!

From the boat, you can just see big bubbles on the surface, big bubbles that come up. Moreover, even before seeing them, we already perceive the smell, this strange smell which reminds us of the chemistry lessons and the stinking balls...

Some of the Indonesian guides prefer not to put on their wetsuits, for this short dive. They say that the wetsuits remain impregnated with them. Being as cold as I am, and not really willing to check the concentration of stinging bugs in the water right on my skin, I kept my 5 mm. But I didn't notice anything particular when I rinsed, phew!

Water temperature : 33°C

Underwater, it is a delight to wallow in the warmth of these bubbles that never stop spouting from the bottom, in the middle of crevasses of varying size, fringed with a whitish deposit.

The game consists in making the thermometer of the diving computer on your wrist rise as high as possible, by placing your hands in front of a big release of hot water and bubbles.

Last record, during our outing on Wednesday: 33°C.


  Indonesia: Pulau Weh [Sumatra] - March 2010

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  1. Nice bubbling bath... makes you want to go. 33°? I'm a little disappointed, though. It's lukewarm. 😛 You've avoided the friendly little egg smell, so much the better. In Iceland, where the springs are hot, even shower water can have that pleasant little volcanic scent. 😕
    We look forward to hearing and seeing more bubbles from elsewhere.

  2. Not a bad jaccuzi... Like Marie, I find that 33 degrees isn't much... 🙄 Apart from these springs, how much is the water?

  3. well, for me, 33 degrees is not bad enough....especially when I've just had an almost-cold shower in a remote IBIS in Alsace...at minus 3 outside....
    I always read you with so much pleasure !! Thank you thank you! It feels good!
    I look forward to reading from you again!

  4. Very pleasant story to read, as always.
    I smiled when I read the expression "boules puantes" ("stink bombs"), the use of which has become widespread these days in the press, given the distressing and nauseating level of comments made by certain politicians during the regional election campaign! 😥
    I'm going to go make my little bubbles in the dishwater, which doesn't smell of sulphur, but is pleasantly scented with lemon!

  5. @Married: I think the actual temperature was well over 33°C. You need time to get the computers up and running, and hot water mixes with ambient water, distorting the calculations...

    @Malene: The water is usually 28°C. Sometimes 29°C, sometimes less, in the 24-25°C range, depending on the thermocline.

    @ Helen: Argh! -3°C... So much the better if I manage to transmit a little warmth to you!!!!

    @ Marie-Julie: Ben me neither. Unprecedented experience!

    @Lydie: Oh, my, yes... it's true that we're in the middle of an election campaign. We should send some of them to sniff out those stinking fumes...

    @IsaEtMarco: Wouhaaa !!! Thanks for the link, it had to be downright spectacular as a dive. You are giving me ideas for future trips ...

  6. Smell on the surface... I experienced this when I got into the water in one of the Bahamas' "in land" blue holes, in Andros, as a prelude to a cave dive. The only difference is that, even underwater, a rotten-egg smell comes through the regulator, but fortunately it doesn't last long as you pass the first 2 or 3 meters from the surface.

    But ditto coming out of diving!

    I recounted this curious experience, to say the least:

    And as for bubble diving (!), I tried it out in Guadeloupe near Basse-Terre, above hot springs. I didn't really see any big bubbles, but I did enjoy the warm water currents, despite the water's natural temperature of 26°.

  7. Dive right in, far from home. Note that spring is just around the corner and we'll be putting away our hats and gloves. For the second round of the regional elections, we've got ourselves a triangular contest. Ain't life grand? 8)

  8. No news since March 12 😥 ... did you get lost in your jaccuzi?? 😛 Well, in the meantime, I'm back to consoling myself with my virtual fishes from the happy Facebook aquarium ❗ 😉

  9. @A World Elsewhere: Yes, I too found that even the air in the regulator ended up smelling. Thanks for the link, fascinating and singular experience you had there...

    @Nono: What would be nice is for spring to have set in by the time I get back next week... I'm following this triangular story from afar. I'll be in the air when the results and analysis come in...

    @Laurence: I've delivered a new post...
    But I'm so busy diving that I can barely keep the blog updated!!!!