Taal Volcano is known as the smallest active volcano in the world located 80km (50mi) from Manila. But there has been several confusions as to which is the real volcano. Well, unlike the Mt. Mayon in the Bicol region or Mt. Etna in Sicily, Taal is not a well defined conical volcanic mountain with an obvious crater at its apex. It’s a complex volcano consisting of several geological elevations or mountains, if you will, and several active craters. When you say Taal Volcano, it starts with the larger caldera that surrounds the Taal Lake (part of which is at the foreground of the photo), which is the ancient crater that eventually collapsed after a huge eruption. What’s left was the Volcanic Island in the middle of the lake.

The most prominent elevation on the Volcanic Island on the right is the Binintiang Malaki (literally large leg), which many Filipino children has been taught in school as the “Taal Volcano” and many believe as the main crater. Some mythbusters say that is not a crater. It is a crater for sure, but has been dormant for several centuries. Today, major eruptions and lava flows occur at the Main Crater of Mt. Taal, the highest elevation on the Volcanic Island.

More interesting fact
If you ride on a chopper and hover above it (or look at Google Earth as a more practical alternative, yet less adventurous), you will see that the Main Crater is another lake by itself with another land mass in the middle. It’s called the Vulcan Point, an island within a lake (Main Crater Lake) within an island (Volcanic Island) within a lake (Taal Lake) within an island (Luzon Island). Crazy geology stuff.


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