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Home » Multiculturalism

The Biggest Volcanic Lake in The World

Submitted by Agustian Hermanto on October 30, 2009 – 1:18 pm Comments

In my last blog post, I shared the traditional philosophy of the Bataks, who resides mostly in the Lake Toba region, North Sumatra. I also mentioned about Lake Toba’s fascinating vista which amazed me. Not to mention that it is actually the largest volcanic lake in the world.

There is actually more than what meets the eyes at Lake Toba. First of all, let me start with the folklore on how the Lake came about:

Once upon a time, in the northern area of Sumatra, lived a young farmer. One morning when the young farmer went fishing to the river, he caught a golden fish. He was amazed by the beauty of the golden fish as he pulled his fishing rod. Suddenly, the fish came to alert and said ”Wait! Don’t eat me!” The young farmer was of course surprised! A talking fish, he thought. Panicked, he fell to the ground and dropped the golden fish and out of nowhere, the golden fish turned into a beautiful young woman.

The farmer’s jaw dropped and while he was trying to take the ground, he said to himself, “I must be dreaming”. “Don’t’ be afraid Sir”, said the beautiful woman trying to calm the farmer. “I was a princess cursed by the Gods because of my disobedience”. The farmer’s heavy breathing seemed to ease as he pulled himself forward to observe the magnificent beauty of this young woman. “Thank you for saving me,” said the young woman. “And as my gratitude, I’m willing to become your wife.”

Drawn by her beauty, the young farmer agreed to take her as his wife, under one condition. The young farmer is to never mention her fish form or something terrible is going to take place.

Time passed by and they were blessed with a son. They were living the best times of their lives as the son grows. However, their son was one naughty boy and he was always hungry.

One day, his mother asked the little boy to deliver lunch to his father who was working on his crop fields. Addicted to his habit of always eating and feeling hungry, he couldn’t resist the smell of the delicious food he’s holding. Without hesitation, the young boy finished his father’s lunch.

When he found out that his son came with no lunch, he went furious. He said angrily “Stupid little fish boy!” Not realizing he had broken his promise, his son and beautiful wife mysteriously vanished and water started to pour out from the door steps of his house. The water kept flowing & eventually drowned the village and the area became a lake. And from this day forward, the area is known as Lake Toba.

A very interesting folklore! However, there’s also a scientific explanation on how the largest volcanic lake, Lake Toba, came about. It is connected to a large catastrophe theory which drove the human to the brink of extinction.

Stay tune and I’ll tell you all about it next week. Join our Facebook group for updates

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  • Henry Lowis

    The folklore on how Lake Toba came about sound much so sexier than "ancient volcanic eruption" hahahaha

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