The beautiful Ngebel lake seems to store great energy beneath its surface. There is still a volcano that every year ‘coughs’ there.
Not many know that Ngebel Lake, which is located at the foot of Mount Wilis, is an active volcano. The volcano still emits smoke and sulfur to this day.
A lecturer at the Ponorogo Muhammadiyah University, Rido Kurnianto, has witnessed the activity of the mountain. He had heard the sound of explosions and saw the fish die from swallowing sulfur.
“Ngebel Lake is above an active volcano. It means that the thunder is an eruption down there. Then the smoke comes from sulfur, heat, then white smoke. The rancid smell is sulfur which then causes the fish to die,” Rido explained.
Ponorogo Ngebel Lake. Photo: Putu Intan/detikcom
Rido himself deliberately conducts research at Ngebel Lake to examine the myth of the Naga Baruklinting. He explained that there were a number of signs before the dragon appeared, namely a booming sound, smoke in the middle of the lake, a rancid smell, and dead fish.
After reading a number of literature, apparently the sign is a characteristic of volcanic activity. Based on interviews with a number of Ngebel Lake elders, information was also obtained that the Naga Baruklinting legend was deliberately created to protect the Ngebel Lake ecosystem.
Fish cages in Ponorogo Ngebel Lake. Photo: Putu Intan/detikcom
Returning to volcanic activity, the release of sulfur gas from the mountain below the surface of Ngebel Lake is actually detrimental to the farmers there. For example, in early February 2021, sulfur gas killed thousands of tilapia ready to harvest. Losses are estimated at Rp 50 million.
“In the past, researchers said this was a caldera, in the middle of the lake there is a source of lava, there are 2 source points,” said the head of the Fish Cultivation Association, Pujo Widodo.
Incidents like this always happen every year. Local people even call it lirangan. Uniquely, the death of these fish usually occurs in July or August. However, in 2021 it will happen earlier.