THE TRAVERTINE POOLS OF PAMUKKALE
1. PAMUKKALE - TURKEY
The strange and weirdly beautiful terraced pools of Pamukkale have been
appreciated for over two millennia and yet still remain a little known wonder
of the world. Thousands of years ago earthquakes, which are common in
Turkey, created fractures that allowed powerful hot springs to bring water rich
in calcium carbonate to the surface.As the water evaporated the chalky material
condensed and formed layer-upon-layer of Travertine and thus slowly built up
the walls over time in the same way that a stalactite forms in a cave. Apparently
Pammakale means Castle of Cotton but the Greco-Romans built a town above it
called Heirapolis – meaning “Holy City” or “Sacred City”. They too recognised
it as a rare and important place attributing healing powers to the milky-white
THE MOERAKI BOULDERS OF NEW ZEALAND
It is said by the Maoris that some of the surviving crew of the Araiteuru canoe
were turned into stone and became mountains. The Moeraki boulders are
said to be the pots and chattels from the canoe.
2. MOERAKI - NEW ZEALAND
These large, spherical, alien and strangely beautiful boulders are mainly located
on Koekohe Beach, part of the Otago coast of New Zealand’s South Island.
Known as “Moeraki Boulders” they were originally formed on the sea floor
from sedimentary deposits that accreted around a core in the same way that
a pearl will form around a particle of sand. The erosion of the cliffs often
reveals these boulders from the surrounding mudstone allowing them to join those
already on the beach. Some of the larger boulders weigh several tonnes and can be
up to three metres wide.Maori legend attributes their origin to the arrival of the
first ancestors / giants who came in the great Araiteuru canoe which was sunk by
three great waves at nearby Matakaea. .
THE NINE HELLS OF BEPPU IN JAPAN
Further away in the Shibaseki District are Blood - Pond Hell (Chinoike Jigoku)
- shown above - and Waterspout Hell (Tatsumaki Jigoku).
3. NINE HELLS OF BEPPU
Beppu, located on the Japanese island of Kyūshū, is the second largest producer of
geothermal water in the world. Located in the same area are the “Nine Hells”
or ponds that each has its own remarkable character and colour thanksto the variety
of minerals in the outflows. These “Hells” are a popular tourist attraction in Japan
but are little known outside of the country. Seven of the strange geothermal springs
are located in the Kannawa area and are known as:
Sea or Ocean Hell (Umi Jigoku), Shaven Head Hell (Oniishibozu Jigoku),
Cooking Pot Hell (Kamado Jigoku), Mountain Hell (Yama Jigoku),
Devil or Monster Mountain Hell (Oniyama Jigoku,) Golden Dragon Hell (Kinryu Jigoku)
and White Pond Hell (Shiraike Jigoku).
THE HUGE CRATER OF MOUNT TEIDE
Las Cañadas caldera, Mount Teide – Not dead just sleeping!
The UN Committee for Disaster Mitigation has listed Teide for
close observation due to its history of powerful eruptions and its
location near several large towns. .
4. LAS CAÑADAS - TENERIFE
At the summit of Mount Teide, one of the largest Island volcanoes in the
World is the Las Cañadas caldera. The crater, which is an enourmous sixteen
kilometres across, is a picture of what Hell might look like if it cooled a little.
Sheer walls that formed when the caldera first collapsed encircle this dry
and alien place. And, with an arrogance than can only be accepted as typical,
humanity has built roads and observatories across this no mans land that is
little more than a plug over a sleeping yet still active and very large volcano.
When we visited it some years ago we were standing in the viewing gallery
when the ground beneath our feet trembled and several windows suddenly
cracked. The sleeping giant was grumbling in its sleep. The land mass
created by the volcano is Tenerife in the Canary Islands.
THE GIANT FIRE CRATER OF DARVAZ
It is most impressive at night and the glow from its flames can be seen
miles away.The inside of the crater is black from carbon build up
and the heat is so intense that it is only possible to stay near the
edge for a few minutes.
5.HELL'S DOOR TURKMENISTAN
Located in the Kara-Kum desert of Turkmenistan is the village of Darvaza (Derweze)
near to where, in 1971, a team of Soviet prospectors allegedly drilled into a large
chamber filled with natural gas. The roof of the cavern collapsed leaving a crater-like
sinkhole some 25 metres deep with a diameter of approximately 60 - 70 metres.
It soon became evident that natural gas was still rising into the crater from even
deeper sources and the story goes that the decision was made to ignite the emissions
rather than risk either a concentrated build-up of gas or local poisoning.
According to various sources it has burned continuously since then and has
apparently been named “The Gate to Hell” by the local people.
However, another source that spoke with the guides from the region claims
that it is a wholly natural phenomenon.
Pamukkale is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the pools have
been closed to the tourists that once bathed in their waters to
save them from further damage.