Where is the Frying Pan lake located?

The Frying Pan lake is located in Waimangu, New Zealand. It is strange and creepy at the same time!

What happens after the volcanic eruption? As a rule, besides destruction, mud volcanoes and geysers are formed. Underground waters, heated by candent magma, come to the surface through cracks in the earth’s crust. That is the way thermal springs appear. Their temperature often exceeds + 50°C, and the water contains such a great number of mineral substances that it becomes really curative.

Frying Pan lake

Photo: Vašek Vinklát/flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Frying Pan lake

Photo: By Pseudopanax at English Wikipedia (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

 

But there are some places where you will never dare to relax in a warm water. They may seem idyllic, but the temperature of the water is too high. Besides, the fact that there’s a half of the Periodic table dissolved in it, does not cause any desire to take a swim either…

Frying Pan lake

Photo: pbkwee/flickr (CC BY 2.0)


Frying Pan lake

Photo: giiku/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Frying Pan lake

Photo: Janko Luin/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

The lake with an unusual name Frying Pan is located Waimangu, New Zealand. It is one of the largest hot pools in the world. The temperature of its acidic waters varies from 50°C to 60°C all round the year. Besides, its surface is always covered with steam from carbon dioxide and various hydrogen sulfides. It looks quite evil!

Frying Pan lake

Photo: Andy Mitchell/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Frying Pan lake

Photo: Andy Mitchell/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

How did Frying Pan lake appear and what is it?

The lake appeared as the result of a serious volcanic eruption in 1886. When Mara Tarawera volcano stepped up, several large craters formed. This was the largest eruption in New Zealand since the arrival of Europeans. Lava broke made its path into the valley, destroying valuable geographical landmarks on the way (including the famous pink and white terraces). Just within one night a line of craters formed across the entire valley of Waimangu starting from the northern extremity of the Tarawera Mountain. All the plants, animals and birds were killed on a vast territory. At the same time a lot of thermal springs appeared in the valley.

Frying Pan lake

Photo: Andy Mitchell/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Frying Pan lake

Photo: Vašek Vinklát/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

During 15 years after the eruption, the hot springs continued to form and finally took their place in the Waimangu valley. The largest geyser in the world, called Waimangu, could reach an altitude of 500 meters! It was active for four years — from 1900 to 1904. Newly formed craters, filled with rainwater and heated by groundwater, formed hot pools.

Frying Pan lake

Photo: Andy Mitchell/flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Frying Pan lake

Photo: By Andy king50 (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

The Frying Pan lake, located in the Echo Crater, is one of them. The lake reached its final shape and size after another serious eruption in the crater in 1917.
The lake occupies 38,000 square meters. Its average depth is about 6 meters. On its western side there are colorful sinter terraces, while on the eastern side there’s a large crater left after the Waimangu Geyser ceased activity.

Frying Pan lake

Photo: By Andy king50 (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Frying Pan lake

Photo: NH53/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

What can I see around the lake?

Around the lake there are impressive silicon formations. Along the coast you will spot colorful deposits that contain traces of such elements as antimony, molybdenum, arsenic and tungsten. Every second 110 liters of hot underground water pour into the lake.

Frying Pan lake

Photo: By Andy king50 (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)


Frying Pan lake

Photo: By Andy king50 (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

 

Frying Pan lake

Photo: Vašek Vinklát/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Frying Pan lake

Photo: Vašek Vinklát/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

It will take you some hours to get to the Frying Pan lake. But one of the most amazing places in New Zealand is obviously worth this effort!

Frying Pan lake on map: