indonesia travel magazine

Toba Lake, North Sumatra

Toba Lake is a lake and supervolcano. The lake is 100 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide, and 505 metres (1,666 ft) at its deepest point. Located in the middle of the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sumatra with a surface elevation of about 900 metres (2,953 ft), the lake stretches from 2.88°N 98.52°E to 2.35°N 99.1°E. It is the largest lake in Indonesia and the largest volcanic lake in the world.

Toba Lake is the site of a supervolcanic eruption that occurred an estimated 69,000 to 77,000 years ago, a massive, climate-changing event. It is estimated to have been a VEI 8 eruption. It is the largest known explosive eruption anywhere on Earth in the last 25 million years. According to the Toba catastrophe theory, it had global consequences, killing most humans then alive and creating a population bottleneck in Central Eastern Africa and India that affected the genetic inheritance of all humans today. However, this hypothesis is not widely accepted due to lack of evidence for any other animal decline or extinction, even in environmentally sensitive species. However, it has been accepted that the eruption of Toba led to a volcanic winter with a worldwide decline in temperatures between 3 to 5 °C (5 to 9 °F), and up to 15 °C (27.0 °F) in higher latitudes.


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