Amazing Places

Vulcan Point: An Island Within a Lake on a Volcano Within a Lake on an Island

Ever played with Russian nesting dolls? Well, picture the beloved dolls as a landscape, and you've got Vulcan Point. It's a Philippine island within a lake, which is in a volcano, which sits in another lake, all on another island.

The Breakdown

Let's back up a second and make a bit more sense of this. First, there's Luzon, the largest and most populated island of the Philippines. Luzon is home to a large lake called Lake Taal, which at its center sits Taal Volcano. Yes, there's a volcano within a lake and it's been active for almost three decades.

At the very top of Taal Volcano is a caldera, a basin that was carved out thousands of years ago and filled with so much water that today it's one of the largest crater lakes in the world. If that isn't mind-boggling enough, at the very center of this crater lake is the final piece of this geological nesting doll — a teeny tiny island and volcanic cone called Vulcan Point.

Danger Zone

But how does such a perplexing geological feature come to be? It all begins with Taal Volcano. This active volcano just 34 miles (55 kilometers) south of Manila, Philippines is considered one of the world's most dangerous volcanos. It has erupted 30 times and killed more than 5,000 people. After one major eruption, the mouth of Taal collapsed, forming a crater that filled with water over time. This became Lake Taal, the lake on which Vulcan Point sits.

Despite Taal Volcano's dubious reputation, dozens of brave tourists climb it daily. Perhaps catching a glimpse of Vulcan Point, the island in a lake on a volcano in a lake on an island, makes it worth the risk. Are you as impressed with Mother Nature as we are?

Written by Curiosity Staff January 17, 2015