Lake in a caldera on Sumatra (Indonesia)


The beautiful Lake Toba, surrounded by high, lush green scarps … at 30 x 100 km, the largest quaternary caldera in the world (cf. The Formation of Mountains). The island of Samosir (larger than Singapore) was formed after the last eruption of the super-volcano: new magma entered the magma chamber and led to the uplift of at least 500 m, as the exposed lake sediments impressively show.


On the island there are beautiful wooden houses of the Batak, with the curved roofs (made of rusty metal). Anyone afflicted by evil spirits was tortured a little (to break the spell), beheaded and eaten. That was until 1816: “You can believe me: the natives in the mountains eat human flesh, they eat every kind of flesh, pure and impure. All kinds of things they worship. The first thing they see when they wake up in the morning is what they worship,” wrote Marco Polo. Nowadays, however, they believe in either Jesus or Bob Marley.


Read on