Underground lake Kov-Ata – a miracle of nature

Underground lake Kov-Ata – a miracle of nature

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The Baherden cave is, without exaggeration, one of the most famous and unique natural sites in Turkmenistan. It is located in the foothills of the Kopetdag in the Baherden etrap of the Akhal velayat. According to archaeological data, the cave has been known to people for more than 2000 years. Kov-Ata is an unusual creation of nature, which can rightfully be called one of the wonders of the world.

The underground lake was born due to the features of rocks from the disappeared sea floor. From the restless bowels of the earth through cracks saturated with hydrogen sulfide, rocks turn into gypsum and dissolve. For thousands of years, the Kov-Ata lake has reached an incredible size.

The first scientific reports about the existence of a cave and an underground lake appeared in 1856. In 1896, a small note about this unique phenomenon was published in the local press. It was reported that thanks to employees of the Baharly railway station, wooden stairs were installed for the convenience of descending to the cave. Local residents have known about the unusual properties of this lake since time immemorial. Warm mineralized hydrogen sulfide water made the cave a popular place, with which hopes for recovery are pinned. This medicinal water contains hydrogen sulfide, iodine, magnesium, sodium, sulfate, as well as chlorine, aluminum, bromine, iron, antimony — a total of 27 chemical elements. Bathing in water has a beneficial effect on the body, improves blood circulation.

As a result of research, it was found that the length of the cave is 230 meters, the depth from the main entrance is 65 meters, the width is 50, and the height is 15 meters. Most of the territory of the cave is occupied by a lake. Its length is 72 meters, width is 30, and the area is 1000 m2. The water temperature is from + 33 to + 38 °C all year round. The Baherden cave is one of the oldest cavities in terms of geological age. The lake water contains 38 chemical elements: sulfur, iodine, magnesium, potassium, sodium, sulfate, aluminum, bromine, iron, antimony.

A long illuminated staircase of 350 steps leads to the lake. The cave and lake are a popular place to visit by residents of Turkmenistan and a tourist attraction.

Based on the materials of the newspaper "Neutral Turkmenistan" No. 108 (29468)

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