Get ready to feel the heat with our fascinating facts about Azerbaijan, the Land of Fire…!
OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Azerbaijan
FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Republic
OFFICIAL LANGUAGES: Azerbaijani
MONEY: Azerbaijani manats
AREA: 86,600 square kilometres
Located in Asia, Azerbaijan is bordered by four countries – Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran. The east of the country is bordered by the Caspian Sea. Swans, flamingos and pelicans all flock to this region. Much of the north and west is covered by the Caucasus Mountains, where roe deer, brown bears and lynx thrive.
In parts of Azerbaijan, including just outside the capital city of Baku, the land is dotted with oil and gas reserves. These are areas where oil and gas can be extracted from the earth and used as fuel. Volcanoes have formed above some of the reserves. But instead of spewing lava, the volcanoes erupt with a muddy mix of water, sand, gas and sometimes oil.
One of Azerbaijan’s most famous sites is Yanar Dağ (or 'Burning Mountain'), a natural glowing fire burning on a hillside along the Caspian Sea. True to its name, the mountain has been blazing for at least 65 years! Natural gases seeping through the ground underneath continuously feed the flames, so the fire never goes out. Whilst no one knows for sure where Azerbaijan gets its name from, it’s only fitting that Yanar Dağ sits in a country also known as ‘The Land of Fire'.
Azerbaijan is home to around ten million people today. About half of the population lives in bustling urban areas, such as Baku.
Some of the country’s inhabitants continue to create traditional crafts, which are famous worldwide for their unique beauty. For instance, a group of people called the Talysh make handmade carpets just as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago. And traditional music played on a stringed instrument called a kobuz is still popular. Like the Yanar Dağ fire, these time-honored customs aren’t going away anytime soon. Yay!