If diving one of the best coral reefs in the World in Indonesia isn’t exciting enough for you, here’s a dive site that takes things to a new level- Mahengetang located between Siau and Sangihe Islands is one of the only active underwater volcano’s you can dive at!
This The underwater volcano itself called the Banua Wuhu rises more than 400 m from the sea floor to form a shoal less than 5 m below sea level and is located just off the island of Mahengetang hence is also known as the Mahengetang volcano. Mahengetang’s two cones reach to within a few feet of the surface 4-5 meters in low tide and 8-10 meters in high tide in a couple of places, and one pinnacle actually breaks through the surface and then drops off on all sides to below recreational diving depths. Although you would not expect it, the submarine volcano exhibits an exorbitant flourishing pristine marine habitat. Some marine biologists who have formerly surveyed and explored the site are convinced that there are more fish and coral species here within one square kilometer of sea than in the entire Caribbean Sea.
There’s no distinct crater as such however, there are huge sulfur covered rocks, resembling a crater type formation with small intermittent outbursts of volcanic gasses that can be seen everywhere making their ascent to the surface as bubbles. With the average water temperature ranging between 37-38 degrees Celsius around the bubbling holes where the hot water comes out, its crucial to wear the right kind of exposure suit and feels much like swimming in a huge glass of champagne, not chilled. Dispite the temperatures, the well aerated waters around the sulphur-covered volcanic rocks lies a very nice reef with a stunning visibility of about 40 meters or more. Unaffected by the volcanic sulphur and thermal factor, the marine life here is very interesting and dense colonies of corals and barrel sponges lay at a depth of 10 meters to 20 meters.The profusion of hard and soft corals is in a pristine state and surpass by far other locations in with gentler conditions.
Strong currents are prevalent at the site, but it’s also possible to find sheltered areas to take cover and ease up. The currents bring with them huge shoals of jacks that swarm through the pinnacles and sergeant majors that jostle for positions on the slopes. Scuba diving here you can even spot a couple of skittish turtles and some large humphead parrotfish.
This unique and unusual dive site is one of it’s kind, with lots to see and exclusive bragging rights to say you went diving on top of an active volcano!!