World Water Wonder #2 The Beppu Hells of Japan

World Water Wonder #2 The Beppu Hells of Japan

Unfortunately, many of the same minerals that give the Beppu pools their stunning color are not so pleasant when they are found in our home’s water supply. Higher concentrations of calcium lead to hard water, while too much iron can give your water a metallic taste and a reddish-brown tint.

Water-wonder-wolrd-2FreshWaterSystems.com has started, on our Facebook and Google Plus pages, a new series of post that highlight some of the most interesting bodies of water on the planet. As a follow up to our most recent post “What’s the Name of the World Water Wonder” here is the answer to that question. Be sure to check back regularly for new world water wonders.

The name of this world water wonder is the Beppu Hells. These pools of uniquely colored water are located in Kyushu, the southernmost island of Japan. Beppu is a small city that was founded in 1924 and is home to a little over 100,000 residents.

Beppu actually contains over 2800 hot water springs, which form the world’s second largest naturally used resource for geothermal energy. Although there are 2800 springs, the springs are most commonly referred to as the “Nine Hells of Beppu”. The unique red coloring of the pool shown above, Chinoike Jigoku, is a result of high concentrations of ferrous minerals that contain iron (Fe). Below is a list of just 9 of the named pools, with a little information about their defining characteristics.

  1. Umi Jigoku: Its meaning is “sea hell”. The water in this pool is a turquoise blue in color, and it’s temperature is hot enough boil eggs.
  2. Oniishibou: Its meaning is “shaven head hell”, which comes from its boiling gray-colored mud that resembles the shaved head of Buddhist monks.
  3. Shiraike Jigoku: Its meaning is “white pond hell”. This pool is filled with boiling white-colored water; the hue comes from a high concentration of calcium.
  4. Yama Jigoku: Its meaning is “mountain hell”. This pool was created from the eruptions of a now extinct volcano, whose forces were so great that it created a small mountain surrounded by small pools.
  5. Kamado Jigoku: Its meaning is “cooking pot hell”. This is a collection of boiling hot springs flanked by a red devil statue that is featured as the “cook”.
  6. Oniyama Jigoku: Its meaning is “devil’s mountain hell”. It is difficult to get any meaning from its characteristics, but the unique features found in this pool are its crocodiles and a very strong water current.
  7. Kinryu Jigoku: Its meaning is “golden dragon hell”. This spring is featured with a “steaming dragon”, where the steam is supplied by the spring itself and is directed out of the dragon’s nostrils. The dragon gives the illusion of flying when the steam spouts out at sunrise.
  8. Chinoike Jigoku: Its meaning is “blood pond hell”. Chinoike gets its name from the bright reddish colored water, which is caused by high concentrations of iron and other ferrous minerals.
  9. Tatsumaki Jigoku: Its meaning is “spout hell”. Tatsumaki is a hot water geyser that erupts about every 30 minutes, at an approximate temperature of 221 degrees Fahrenheit.

Unfortunately, many of the same minerals that give the Beppu pools their stunning color are not so pleasant when they are found in our home’s water supply. Higher concentrations of calcium lead to hard water, while too much iron can give your water a metallic taste and a reddish-brown tint. If you suspect elevated levels of these minerals or other substances in your water supply, it is always good practice to have your water tested, or check with your local municipal water supply. You can search the EPA’s website for a local water quality report.
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