No, that’s not snow you’re looking at.
The terraced pools of Pamukkale in southwestern Turkey are naturally occurring hot springs, and the majestic white landscapes you see are actually the result of calcium carbonate, which bubbles up from within the earth and hardens to become travertine, a type of limestone.
Pamukkale actually means “cotton castle” in Turkish, an apt name for the white and often-fluffy appearance of the area. But its travertine terraces and hot, bubbling waters have, for thousands of years, been thought to possess healing properties.
For centuries, people have visited Pamukkale and bathed in the water of the Sacred Pool, applied clay to their skin, and even drunk from the warm springs.
The Sacred Pool, by the way, has been used as a healing spa since Roman times. Collapsed columns rest in the water, ruins of ancient Hierapolis.
The ruins of Hierapolis also include a number of fascinating locations: a necropolis, an amphitheatre, and a Temple of Apollo, to name a few.
Most interesting (personally), however, is the Plutonium, a cave dedicated to Pluto, the god of the underworld. Carbon dioxide fills the cave, making it deadly to enter, and people have died as a result.
In ancient times, this led to the belief that it was the work of Pluto himself, or that the cave was in fact connected to the underworld.
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