They don’t tower thousands of feet into the clouds or inspire the same levels of awe and wonder as their more famous lava-spewing cousins, but a mud volcano is pretty amazing nonetheless.
True to the “mud” in their name, these mounds don’t spew lava. Instead, they ooze a richly rejuvenating mud formed when water, warmed deep within the Earth’s crust, mixes with mineral deposits. The best place in the Caribbean to see these geological wonders: Trinidad.
A good 15 mud volcanoes call Trinidad home, many of them occupying the southern region of the country. Here you’ll also find much of the island’s oil reserves and the source of the tar that’s paved a good percentage of the world’s roads. Unlike Totumo in Colombia, which we profiled here, you can’t splash around in any of Trinidad’s mud cones. You can, however, dip your hands in and rub some of the therapeutic mud on your skin.
Not everything about these geological wonders is soothing and nice, though. True to the “volcano” in their name, these mounds can erupt, causing major damage. Back in February 1997, a mud volcano in the rural village of Piparo, Trinidad did just that; spewing mud, flooding houses, burying cars, covering roads, and displacing 31 families from their homes.
Mud volcano eruptions are rare in Trinidad, though, rendering the mud volcanoes safe for exploration when adventuring around this most uncommon country.
*Lead photo credit: Flickr user Jennie.