ORIGIN OF THE LEGENDS

The Land of Fire

Azerbaijan is a country known as the ‘Land of Fire’ and also the ‘Land of Oil’. It has received these two titles from very natural causes and what you might not realise is that the two are linked together. Azerbaijan is located by the Caspian Sea and its capital Baku is right by the shore. The Caspian Sea and surrounding lands are well known for their rich oil supply. This has contributed to varying natural phenomenons in the geographic area, much of which can be seen In Azerbaijan. This richness in oil is also responsible for the name and reputation the county has received.

Azerbaijan is the home of about three hundred mud volcanoes, the country with the highest number in the world especially as there are only about seven hundred known mud volcanoes in existence. In the volcanoes, pent-up and burning hydrocarbon gases are released, along with mud, and can travel from up to 812 km from underneath the ground. The gases leaking from the ground can also create a fascinating phenomenon seen in the ever burning fire at Yana Dag. The gas in Yanar Dag leaks from the side of a mountain.  A folk legend says that a shepherd who was smoking nearby dropped a cigarette which set the fumes alight and that the flame on the mountain has been burning ever since. The pressure and heat from underneath the ground has also created several hot springs and thermal ponds.

The Windy City

Baku is also known as the windy city, due to the diverse airstreams that sweep over the city from the Caspian Sea. The northern winds make the winters very cold but also help make the heat in summer more tolerable. The warm southern winds also make winter more durable and the summer heat much more intense. The winds vary constantly and hence the temperature and climate in the city is very changeable.