Mud volcanoes - Azerbaijan's greatest natural wonders [PHOTO]
By Laman Ismayilova
The Land of Fire is home to many extraordinary natural wonders, Azernews reports.
From emerald forests to majestic waterfalls, there are numerous natural sights in Azerbaijan that are waiting to be explored.
Mud volcanoes are undoubtedly one of the country's most-visited natural attractionsç encouraging people to travel to far-flung destinations just to catch a glimpse of this natural miracle.
In total, there are about 700 mud volcanoes in the world and 350 of them are located in Azerbaijan, Azernews reports.
NASA geologists studying Mars concluded that the mud volcanoes of Azerbaijan are similar to the uplands of the planet in their structure.
World's largest mud volcano
Toragay is the largest mud volcano in the world, which is located in the south of Gobustan.
The height of the volcano is 400 meters, and the volcanic crater is 150 meters in diameter. The mud volcano erupted 6 times from 1841 to 1950.
In 2004, the Toragay mud volcano was added to the Guinness World Records.
Boyuk Kanizadag is another mud volcano that thrills everyone who sees it.
It is known as the largest mud volcano on the territory of Gobustan. This mud volcano erupted on October 10, 2001, shooting out flames 300 meters in the air.
Located in the suburb of Baku, the Otman Bozdag mud volcano erupted in 2017. The Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS) announced that two eruptions were recorded in the territory of the Sangachal settlement, Garadagh district. This was the 9th eruption of the mud volcano.
Mud Volcanoes Tourism Complex
In 2021, the groundbreaking ceremony was held for Mud Volcanoes Tourism Complex in Gobustan.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attended the event.
The Mud Volcanoes Tourism Complex will be established 59 kilometers south-western Baku, around 17 kilometers north-western Gobustan settlement, on the main road to Shamakhi region. This territory is known as Gilinj mud volcanoes area.
The decision to create a tourism complex here was made upon the evaluation of this destination’s tourism potential. Thus, another tourism infrastructure project is underway within the "State Program for the Socioeconomic Development of the Regions for 2019-2023".
The 12-hectare complex is expected to include a quad bike path, footpaths, a zip line and an observation tower, a parking lot, a souvenir shop, as well as therapeutic baths.
There are also plans to extend a 20-kilometer road from the Gobustan Reserve to Gilinj and surrounding volcanoes and create the Baku-Gobustan-Mud volcanoes tourism cluster.
Unique and rare minerals
Studies have revealed the presence of rare types of minerals, non-specific sulfates, oxides, natural iron, and many other elements in the mud volcanic breccia.
Note that volcanic breccia consists mainly of a mixture of clay mass with fragments of hard rocks.
The studies suggest that these minerals were formed under the influence of deep mud volcano fluids.
Rich in minerals, mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan can be used for medicinal purposes.
Mud is considered suitable for treatment if it contains a large number of organic compounds, iodine, bromine, hydrogen sulfide, etc.
In general, the healing properties of about 40 types of volcanic mud have been studied and confirmed by biochemical analysis.
The volcanic mud of Akhtarma Garadag, Dashgil, Bahar, and Masazir are the most studied in the country from a medical point of view.
They are considered similar to healthy mud found in Akhtala, Georgia.
Mud resort of Georgia due to the high content of bromine, iodine, boron, and other organic compounds.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lamiva993