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Mysteries of Armenia

The Dormant Devil


Volcanism relics can be traced to the foothills of the Geghama Range. The area strikes the visitor with its fantastic landscape, which has preserved the relief peculiarities of the preceding period. Lava stream remnants, the ravines and the gorges beneath present a peculiar sight. It was in this state that the tribes first found the Armenian plateau. Nonetheless, having spewed all of its energy on construction materials, the volcano, whose name Bagharsak is associated with Indo-European deities, got covered with absinthe wormwood and took its last sleep. The Armenian plateau is considered to be the country of extinct volcanism. Still, Mt Nemrut situated to the west from Lake Van erupted in 1441. From geological perspective it doesn’t seem to be that distant. At present it undergoes the solfatara stage and periodically discharges sulphurous gas. It is believed that the volcano erupted and destroyed several settlements in 1881. Mt Tondurek located 50 km southwest from Great Ararat discharges not only gas but solids as well. The eruption of the largest volcano in Armenia, Argeos, was recorded by Strabo. Mt Aragats having four peaks is also famous for its sulphurous gas discharges. Thus, one shouldn’t ignore the risk of new eruptions in Armenia.

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