Taal Lake

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       Taal Lake, a lake within an island within a lake. The island is the Taal Volcano, one of the world’s smallest volcanoes, yet one of the Philippines’ most dangerous volcanoes.

      Scientists believe that a massive prehistoric eruption blew the top of the then much larger Taal Volcano, causing it to cave in on itself forming an immense crater or caldera. Into this massive bowl, the nearby seawater rushed in, filling it, and creating a 30-kilometer diameter lake which exists to this day. Then over the centuries, a new and much smaller volcanic crater was formed and rose above the lake’s surface, creating a unique lake within an island within a lake.

       One can get a close-up look at Taal in its splendor by crossing the large crater lake which surrounds the volcano and then trek to the top of the volcanic island to peer down into Taal’s own crater lake.

       The water of the outer lake, although sulfur bubbles up from some spots along the shore, is fresh and is known to be the habitat of many fishes like carp and eel. The lake is also the home to the only known species of sea snakes (Hydrophis semperi) which have somehow learned to adapt to fresh water. Maliputo and tawilis (Harengula tawilis), the more popular fishes found in the lake, also have salt-water fishlike characteristics.

       The mood of the much smaller inner crater-lake contrasts to the silent blue waters of the outer lake. The shores are rocky, harsh and barren. The only sign of life are the strands of tall feathery cogon grass and the big black crows sitting on the high rocks. Although it is approximately 20 meters deep, no fish are found to be living in the dark waters. The water is highly diluted form of sulfuric acid containing large amount of magnesium, aluminum, and sodium.

Protected Landscape (Proclamation No. 906)
Date Established:   06 October 1996
Location:   Province of Batangas, and Tagaytay City
              (60 kilometers from Metro Manila)
Area   :   62,292.1369 hectares
Source: Our Nature Heritage
- The Protected Areas of the Philippines
Published by: Department of Environment and Natural Resources
  Philippine Airlines Foundation, Inc.
  Foundation for the Philippine Environment

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