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This mountain of fire is always burning no matter the weather

The fire persists in this area due to the presence of gas and oil.

The burning mountain of Yanar Dag [Shutterstock/Bream]

In Azerbaijan, you can see an unusual sight - high flames crawling on the hillside.

The presence of fire "out of nowhere" makes the heat in summer even more difficult to bear, and when snow falls in winter, its flakes melt from the heat and do not reach the ground.

Such an extraordinary picture is a work of nature, described already in the 13th century by the traveller, Marco Polo.

Yanar Dag is located 25 km northeast of Baku. This name translates as "burning mountain." The hill bearing the above name is located on the Apsheron Peninsula in Azerbaijan. It was once a pilgrimage destination for Zoroastrians, also known as fire worshippers.

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People often contribute to fires, but Yanar Dag is the work of nature. The fire persists in this area due to the presence of gas and oil. When ethane and propane escape through cracks in the sandstone on the slopes, spontaneous combustion and flames occur.

Regardless of the weather, time of day or year, they shoot off the hillside all the time. The wall of fire reaches a height of up to 10 meters, climbing along the edge of the hill. It creates an unusual spectacle that has been eagerly admired by locals and tourists since at least the Middle Ages. We know this from the accounts left by travellers such as Marco Polo.

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Although there were more such places throughout Azerbaijan over the centuries, when gas and oil exploitation began, most natural fires died out due to the reduction in underground pressure. Yanar Dag is one of the few remaining examples of spontaneous fires, and perhaps the most impressive.

Local legend says that when the hill stopped burning, in the 1950s the fire was accidentally rekindled by a shepherd who threw a cigarette butt. Since then, we can still see flames crawling on the rocks.

When going on a trip to Baku, it is worth taking a few hours to see the burning slope with your own eyes. You can get to this place by bus or use private transport. The journey should take about 30 minutes.

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This article was originally published on Onet Travel.

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