Kalabakan Mud Volcano

Mud Volcano in Kalabakan (Sabah)

Just a few months ago, Sabah newspapers reported an emergence of a mud volcano near the road in Menumbok. People were a bit concern and thought it’s an omen for earthquake. Luckily nothing happened. However, the mud volcano that I’ll show you here is even bigger and more active.

parking car at roadside
This mud volcano is probably the most accessible one, as it’s just next to the road
Checking out the mud volcano
Checking out the mud volcano

This mud volcano is about 15.5 KM after the gate of Maliau Basin to the direction of Tawau City (GPS: 4.5478012, 117.0619419, see Location Map or Street View).

The location of the mud volcano
The location of the mud volcano

Since we couldn’t see this mud volcano from our car, it took us some times to spot it.

mud volcano in a drain a few Meters down
The mud volcano is in a drain a few Meters down

This mud volcano is about 6 Meters in diameter, with a mild surface upwelling of mud, water and natural gas bubbles.

The mud looks quite fresh
Silky mud burping and bubbling in mud volcano pool

Even though it is at the roadside, where hundreds of cars passing by every day, very few know about it because it is at the bottom of a drain.

Collecting mud from mud volcano
This mud volcano isn’t inside a private property, so anyone can collect mud from it.

Actually mud volcano is common in Sabah, for example, Pulau Tiga Island is created by mud volcano in 1897. Lapid, the largest mud volcano of Sabah is in Tabin Wildlife Reserve.

Tour package to Semporna
Scooping the mud
Volcanic mud contains hundreds of times more sodium, calcium and trace elements than normal soil.

There are even some mud volcano hills formed up to 2 miles in diameter and a few hundred feet high, and commonly reported in the Dent Peninsula area. Normally, mud volcano erupts quietly, but it can be violet sometimes. Like the eruption of a mud volcano on Pulau Tiga Island in 1941, the sound could be heard as far as 160 KM.

active mud volcano
This mud volcano is very active

We only stopped by this mud volcano for a few minutes, to collect its fresh mud, which is rich in minerals and great for skin care. We can apply this grey mud on our face as a facial mask.

Girl pointing at mud volcano
Hey! I want this!

In other countries, someone makes soap with such mud and able to sell for a good profit. And this mud volcano seems to have endless free supply of mud.

Ladies taking photo next to mud volcano
Good for Skin. Every woman wishes to have a Mud Volcano in their house

This super active mud volcano looks like erupting, but I think it’s only releasing gas like a “farting pool”. Mud volcano is formed when over-pressured natural gas escapes along cracks in the earth’s surface, carrying mud, water and rocks with it.

couple taking photo next to mud volcano
One for the album. This mud volcano would be gone in future.

We didn’t know about this mud volcano. It’s someone from Junction 41 told us about this place.

Junction 41

Junction 41 is a small station next to Kalabakan-Tawau road. There are many logging truck drivers stop here for a break.

Junction 41 in Kalabakan
Junction 41 in Kalabakan

After long hours of driving in remote and interior area, any sign of civilization is welcome by motorists, though Junction 41 is nothing more than a few building.

Mini market of Junction 41
Mini market of Junction 41 is open on 14th and 15th day of every month

On 14th and 15th day of every month, the locals hold small open-air market that sells various items such as electronic goods, food, fruit & veges, cloth and snacks.

logging truck driver
Many logging truck drivers stop at Junction 41 for a break
Fancy toilet sign at Junction 41
Fancy toilet sign at Junction 41
old fashion toilet at Junction 41
Hello! Long time no see. An old fashion toilet at Junction 41

Junction 41 has a Chinese restaurant built by Uncle Chew, a Malaysian from Johor Bahru. He was working as a contractor here many years ago, then he fell in love with this place and settle down here.

Chinese Restaurant at Junction 41 (Serve No Pork)
Chinese Restaurant at Junction 41 (Serve No Pork)

Uncle Chew is very interesting man who even tries to talk to wild elephants, and he believes they can understand him too. That’s him who told us there is a mud volcano about 250 Meters away from Junction 41.

Black and white cat at Junction 41
Cat at Junction 41. Don’t ask me why I post this.

I only stopped by his restaurant shortly to have fried noodle as lunch. Next time if you visit his shop, do talk to him, and he definitely has a lot of stories to share.

Photos taken in Kalabakan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

One thought on “Mud Volcano in Kalabakan (Sabah)

  1. smokehead, put it up at youtube, google video etc to generate more traffic here 😉

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