The Korea Herald


[Korea Quiz] Jeju's wonders

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : June 19, 2024 - 13:41

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Find the answer at the bottom.

South Korea’s southern Jeju Island, created by volcanic activities from as early as 1.2 million years ago, is virtually like a volcano museum. With diverse volcanic features, including volcanic cones, craters and lava tubes, stretching in every direction, the island was also the first in South Korea to be inscribed as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in 2007.

It was listed as the Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes, which includes Hallasan, Seongsan Ilchulbong and Geomunoreum Lava Tube System.

At 1,947 meters, Hallasan is the highest mountain in South Korea. The national park surrounding it is a volcanic wonderland with unique flora and fauna, and at the summit of the mountain is a crater lake called Baengnokdam. Due to its high altitude, the mountain hosts numerous alpine plants and animals. Hallasan is home to 1,800 kinds of plants, including 400 specimen plants and 50 special plants.

Seongsan Ilchulbong, also known as Sunrise Peak, was formed by hydrovolcanic eruptions approximately 5,000 years ago. This volcanic tuff cone rises 182 meters above sea level and offers stunning sunrise views. Its well-preserved crater and the surrounding cliffs provide significant insights into volcanic activity and geological processes, making it a key natural heritage site.

The Geomunoreum Lava Tube System includes some of the finest lava tunnels in the world. The lava tubes were formed by basaltic lava flows from volcanic eruptions around 100,000 to 300,000 years ago. As the surface of the lava flow cooled and solidified, molten lava continued to flow beneath it, eventually creating extensive underground tunnels. The cave is currently not open to the public due to a risk of damage.

Seoraksan, standing 1,708 meters high in Gangwon Province, is often considered the most beautiful mountain in South Korea, but it is not on the UNESCO list.

The South Korean government had once pushed for its listing in the late 1990s, but withdrew the bid after facing resistance from local residents who feared recognition of its ecological value would hinder development in the region.

Seoraksan is renowned for its spectacular landscapes, which include rugged peaks, dense forests and clear streams.

Answer: (a)