Volcanic Salt, Indonesia
Bleduk Kuwu (Mud volcano) is a natural phenomenon of mud eruptions that occur every two minutes as high as 2 meters. The mud that comes out is used for its minerals to make salt concentrate by local residents using traditional methods. The raw material for making salt uses residual water from the explosion which is rich in minerals, especially high in salt content. It has spewed out mineral-rich fluids for centuries, a phenomenon experts say results from geothermal motions deep in the earth.
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Salt farmers are said to have gained the knowledge of finding salt in Bleduk Kuwu's muddy water from their parents and grandparents. Every day, these farmers have to struggle with muddy ground and the sun's heat, gathering water found within the swamps surrounding the location.
They store the water inside kendil (pots) and evaporate it above bamboo sticks, forming salt deposits. Once an hour, the farmers wet the bamboo using a brush made of hay and continue to do so until the sun sets. If the weather is friendly, this process will take two to three days, resulting in about 20 kilograms of salt for each farmer.
The volcanic landscape is the ‘farm’ for this very rare salt!
The salt was harvested exclusively for the Emperor of Solo in the 1800’s!
Below photos: all the rectangular patterns seen around the edge of the mud volcano are ponds for making salt out of the brine from the erupted mud. It’s in the pore waters in the deep marine sediments that get erupted.
Above: once an hour, the farmers wet the bamboo using a brush made of hay and continue to do so until the sun sets. If the weather is friendly, this process will take two to three days.