Azerbaijan: Health and well-being in the most unlikely of places

Azerbaijan: Health and well-being in the most unlikely of places
Copyright  euronews
This content is not available in your region
By Monica Pinna

Azerbaijan is home to the world's greatest concentration of mud volcanoes -- with over 300 spread across the country.  

Gobustan National Park is just one hour’s drive from the capital Baku. The site hosts an array of deep mud volcanoes that gurgle, spit and sometimes erupt with thick, cold mud. These volcanoes can be 10 to 15 kilometers deep. 

But what appears to resemble a post-apocalyptic landscape is, in fact, the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate. 

“In Azerbaijan, we can find all kinds of mud volcanoes", explained Sabina Kazimova, a geologist at the Seismic Survey Center. "They can be active, dormant, underground, underwater, insular, or actively releasing oil”, she added.

Euronews
Gobustan National Park, AzerbaijanEuronews

“When a mud volcano erupts, gases are released. It's 80% methane, but there is also carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and nitrogen.”

Mud volcanos provide precious information about the processes taking place underground. Geologists see them as free exploratory drilling rigs.

What's more, they are brimming with skin-loving salts and minerals.

"Volcanic mud is saturated with more than 90 minerals, there are a large number of organic substances, mineral salts, and chemical elements”,  Sabrina told Euronews.

Euronews
Azerbaijan is home to the world's greatest concentration of mud volcanoesEuronews

Health-boosting hot springs

Azerbaijan's subtropical south is home to the lush forest of Masalli hot springs. The whole region is scattered with hot water sources, which are jam-packed with chemicals that can benefit the body.

“This water contains potassium, calcium, iodine, bromine, and other elements", explained Allahyarov Qardashali, the owner of the Isti-su retreat. "It is used for treatment. It can help decrease abdominal tension, strengthen bones, treat joints, kidneys, and heal burns.”

Euronews
Masalli hot springs, AzerbaijanEuronews

Mystical steam engulfs the area because water spills out of the source -- from depths of between 90 to 250 kilometers -- at a temperature of 90 degrees Celsius.