Located in the heart of New Zealand’s North Island, Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley is the world’s youngest hydrothermal lake system, created by the massive volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera in 1886. A pre-existing lake was enlarged to 20 times its original size, and other craters that were formed eventually turned into hydrothermic pools. It has the distinction of being the world’s youngest hydrothermal system, completely created within written history, and is home to the world’s largest hot spring, appropriately named Frying Pan Lake. The entire valley has been a nature and wildlife refuge since the explosion that created it, and certain species of plants that have adapted to the geothermal environment can only be found here. Check out this footage of the stunning expanse of Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley.
Photo via JSilver