Virtual Volcano Vacation challenge #56 WINNERS! – Doinyo Lengai

lengai giraffes

Ol Doinyo Lengai above the African plains – Photo by Martin Rietze – Original image found at ALPE

We have winners!  Congratulations Jesper for finding Madame Zolcanohead for 5 points, followed right on his heels by George for 3 points, and Spike dragging-arse in at early-o’clock the next morning for 1 point.

I hope this wasn’t too easy. It can be difficult to figure out what would be a good clue but not give it away completely!

Ol Doinyo Lengai is one of the strangest and fascinating volcanoes I’ve ever seen. It is the only volcano that has erupted carbonatite lava in historical times, which, as mentioned in the clue, isn’t even hot enough to melt steel.


The crater of Ol Doinyo Lengai – Photo by Jessie Davie – Original image found at the Oldoinyo Lengai blog

lengai north crater

Ol Doinyo Lengai’s north crater was once much deeper, but in the last decades of the 20th century. fresh lava filled it in and began flowing over the rim. – Original image found at Stromboli Online

There are lots of good articles about it if you’d like to learn more:

Global volcanism Program’s entry on Ol Doinyo Lengai gives the basic overview

Here is the 2003 National Geographic article

This article on carbonatite is part of a blog all about the volcano.

Lengai night image

Long-exposure photograph of a spatter cone in Ol Doiinyo Lengai’s north crater shows the carbonatite lava, which appears black in daylight, all aglow. Ordinarily even at night the erupting lava only gives off a faint red glow. – Original image found at

Thanks for playing, it was fun!




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