Ocean Ports of Call

Ambrym Island - Vanuatu Highlights:
Volcanic Mystery Island
Ambrym Island, the island of mysteries, is one of the islands of Vanuatu in the south western Pacific Ocean. It has two active volcanoes, Mt Marum and Mt Benbow and is sometimes called Black Island because of its black volcanic beach and its "black magic". Ambrym is one of the country's sorcery centres and is home of tamtams (vertical slit gongs), fern tree sculptures, sand drawings and Rom Dance, an outstanding expression of the prevailing influence of spirits. It also has some of the best artefacts and carvings in Melanesia.

Ambrym is one of the few places on Earth where you can see the seething active lava lakes in the heart of twin volcanoes, for Ambrym Island is the remains of a huge volcano plunging into the surrounding Pacific Ocean. Ambrym remains volcanically active, the last major eruption in 1913 killed hundreds and opened a fracture line across the island from East to West in a staggering series of blown out craters. Today, Benbow and Maroum volcanoes still rumble away and smaller vents and fractures ooze steam and lava. Standing on the rim of Maroum, the very core of the lava lake can be seen swirling and spitting in endless fury. Ambrym presents an awesome lava landscape. The centre of the island is occupied by an enormous ash plain about 7 miles across representing the crater of the ancient volcano.

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