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Azerbaijan, located within the South Caspian Sea basin, is among the world's oldest oil producers. The petroleum industry in Azerbaijan produces about 800,000 barrels of oil per day and 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year. There is so much oil and natural gas reserve under the Absheron Peninsula that the ground practically leaks all over.

Throughout Azerbaijan, numerous fires have been burning since antiquity and these were reported on by historical writers such as Marco Polo in the 13th century, and later by the famed writer Alexandre Dumas, who described a Zoroastrian fire temples built around a natural fire. This phenomenon of spontaneous fire caused by gas seepage have given Azerbaijan the moniker "Land of Fire." It also created a cult of fire worshippers – the Zoroastrians, which first appeared in this region over 2,000 years ago before the Islamic rule came into effect. Numerous references to fire can also be found in Azerbaijan’s folklore and culture.

There are at least three places where one can observe Azerbaijan’s famous fires.

yanar-dag-1

Yanar Dag, the burning mountain, in Azerbaijan. Photo credit

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© Amusing Planet, 2014.


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