By Laman Ismayilova
Mud volcanoes are some of the most unique natural phenomenon on Earth. They are active, impressive and definitely worth seeing.
Indicating the presence of energy resources reserves hidden deep beneath land and sea in the Caspian region, their eruption reveals the existence of large oil and gas basins.
Azerbaijan or as it is called here the Land of Fire has the highest number of mud volcanoes in the world. Some 350 out of over 1,000 mud volcanoes in the world are located here.
The world’s largest mud volcanoes - Boyuk Khanizadagh and Turaghai - are both in Azerbaijan. Boyuk Khanizadagh, the diameter and height of which are 10 kilometers and 700 meters respectively, erupted on October 10, 2001, shooting out flames 300 meters in the air. It was the highest record for flames shot from a mud volcano.
Underground and submarine mud volcanoes are also located in Azerbaijan.
There are more than 140 submarine volcanoes in the Caspian Sea. Eight islands in the Baku Archipelago are mud volcanoes by origination.
Mud volcanoes are active all year round. Over the past 200 years, more than 200 major eruptions have been recorded in the country.
Otman Bozdag volcano, one of the world's largest mud volcanoes erupted in, Garadagh district in 2017. This is the ninth eruption of this mud volcano.
As a result of the volcanic eruption, the flame rose to the height of 350 meters. Mud waste covers an area of about 10-12 hectare.
Ayrantokan mud volcano in Baku’s Garadagh district erupted this March 29.
The eruption lasted up to seven minutes and was accompanied by flames, which reached a height of about 100-150 meters above the volcanic crater.
The first eruption took place in October 1964, while the last eruption was observed in 2008. The mud volcano belongs to the State Nature Reserve.
Toraghay mud volcano also erupted in Garadagh district of Baku this year.
About 23 mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan received the status of the National Park and are protected by the state. In addition, they were included in the list of Seven Wonders of the World.
There are several interesting facts about mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan.
NASA geologists studying Mars planet, concluded that mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan are similar to uplands of the planet for their structure.
On September 5, 2004 the greatest mud volcano in the territory of Azerbaijan was added into the Guinness World Records.
The mud volcanoes located in Gobustan National Park sights attracting thousands of tourists annually.
The State Historical-Artistic Reserve has been functioning since 1967.
In 2007, the reserve was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
A trip to Gobustan gives you a great chance to see these amazing active volcanoes from very close distance.
Azerbaijan's rich fields of oil and gas condensate such as Lokbatan, Garadagh, Oil Rocks, and Mishovdag were also discovered near mud volcanoes.
The lava, mud, and liquid spewed by mud volcanoes are used as raw materials for chemical and construction industries, as well as pharmacology.
Enriched with specific components - mineral salts, organic substances, microelements, volcanic mud has medicinal properties that have a beneficial effect on the human body.
Volcanic mud gives a great effect in the treatment of patients suffering from diseases of the peripheral and central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, skin, etc.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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