ANTALYA – Doğan News Agency
Yanartaş, a naturally occurring fire that burns constantly in Çıralı in the southern province of Antalya’s Kemer district, is connected with the natural gas beds in the eastern Mediterranean, scientists have discovered.
Natural gas has also been detected to the south of Çıralı, while natural gas beds have been discovered in a number of locations in the sea in recent years, particularly off Cyprus, Israel
and Palestine and Egypt.
A holiday haven, Çıralı is also known for methane gas which has been burning for centuries among stones in various spots very close to the beach. Known as the burning stone, the area draws thousands of visitors every year.
According to mythology, the flames were said to come from the mouth of the monster Chimera.
A number of experts from Turkey and abroad have been examining the region in an effort to solve the mystery of the flames.
“There was natural gas in the region and with the effects of lightning and thunder – or maybe with the effect of people living there – the gas began burning,” said Süleyman Demirel University Professor Fuzuli Yağmurlu.
“This fire shows a very important natural gas leakage in this region. The underground gas leaks from among the cracks in the rocks and reaches the surface. Then we see the fire,” he added.
The professor said the natural gas in the region did not come from a single spot, adding that there were 15-20 similar burning rocks in the eastern Mediterranean region.
Giuseppe Etiope of the Rome-based National Geophysical and Volcanology Institute and Artur Ionescu of Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca have previously conducted studies on the fire, which is also known as the Olympus Fire, publishing their findings in the journal Geofluids.