Yanartaş is a small natural gas source of historical and touristic importance near Çıralı village. It is a touristic natural beauty located in a scenic location close to the sea, with flames emerging from the stones and a magical atmosphere. Çıralı is the subject of ancient Greek mythology and is known as the place where Bellerapho, on the back of the winged horse Pegasus, killed the fire-breathing monster Chimera. It is said that the fire that is still burning is the flames coming from the mouth of the slain beast. The ruins of the temple built in this region, considered sacred by Byzantine blacksmiths, are located next to Yanartaş. According to some historians, the Olympic flame was brought from this point for the first time. The origin of this fire, which burns in summer and winter, is natural methane gas leaking out from underground sources.
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Exploring the Mythical Marvel: Chimera Olympos, Antalya
Tucked away in the breathtaking landscape of Antalya, Turkey, lies an ancient natural wonder that has captured the imaginations of travelers for centuries. The Chimera Olympos, often simply called "Chimera," is a remarkable phenomenon where flames emerge mysteriously from the ground, creating an otherworldly atmosphere that has intrigued and mystified visitors for generations. This natural wonder is not only a geological curiosity but also a place steeped in history and mythology.
The Origin of Chimera
Chimera Olympos gets its name from the mythical creature in Greek mythology, the Chimera, a fire-breathing monster with the body of a lion, the head of a goat, and a serpent's tail. According to legend, the Chimera terrorized the Lycian countryside around Mount Olympos until it was slain by Bellerophon, a Greek hero. It was believed that the fires at this location were associated with the breath of the mythical Chimera, making it a place of great significance in ancient times.
The natural phenomenon of the Chimera is not due to a fire-breathing monster, but rather to a fascinating geological occurrence. The flames are caused by the combustion of natural gas escaping from fissures in the rock. This gas contains methane, ethane, and other hydrocarbons, which, when exposed to oxygen, can ignite spontaneously.
The flames appear to dance and flicker along the rocky terrain, producing a surreal and eerie spectacle, especially at night. The fires can vary in intensity, with some flames burning quite brightly, while others emit a soft, gentle glow. This fluctuation is due to the varying gas emissions from different fissures.
Visiting Chimera Olympos
Chimera Olympos is located in the Olympos National Park, not far from the town of Cirali. To reach this natural wonder, you can take a leisurely hike along a well-marked trail. The hike is approximately 4 kilometers long and offers a chance to immerse yourself in the region's lush Mediterranean flora and fauna.
As you approach the Chimera site, the first signs of the fires will start to become visible. Once there, you can witness the flames up close and even roast marshmallows over the natural gas fires, making it a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
The best time to visit Chimera Olympos is during the evening or at night when the fires are most mesmerizing. It is recommended to bring a flashlight for the hike, wear appropriate footwear, and carry some water. Additionally, it's important to respect the site's natural beauty and historical significance, avoiding any damage to the environment.