Mount Merapi Landscape

This is about as high as we can get up to see Mount Merapi, the most active volcano in Indonesia. Erupting regularly since at least the 16th century, it dribbles lava and spews smoke on a daily basis, and the most recent significant eruption was in 2010, which claimed over 350 lives.

Mt. Merapi's particular, triangular shape and the omnipresent cloud that emanates from it forms an iconic feature of Yogyakarta's northern landscape. You can't live here without thinking of the "fire mountain" that gurgles and burps above—so much so, that Merapi has shaped the cultural fabric of the people who live around it. There are Merapi creation myths, legends of the spirits that dwell inside it, and the city itself is designed according to Javanese beliefs of the sacred line between the volcano, the city (and Kraton), and the ocean in the south.

Speaking personally, whenever I see Merapi, I can't help but be dazzled both by its beauty and the raw power of the Earth it holds within. I share in the people of Yogyakarta's reverence and respect for it.

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By Joaquim Baeta. The files associated with this video are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. You are free to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon them in any medium or format, even for commercial purposes, provided you give appropriate credit to Joaquim Baeta.

Example attribution: "Mount Merapi Landscape" by Joaquim Baeta,, CC BY.