Azerbaijan can claim to be the site of almost half of the world`s mud volcanoes, with estimates putting that figure of 50 percent still at a lowly 400 or so. These are concentrated around the mineral rich coastline of the Caspian Sea, an arid desert like place, only accessible by a driver whose willing to get his car muddy.
Gobustan National Park is a place where the mud volcanoes can be walked right up to and where the brave can even bathe in them. The volcanoes gurgle out mud at intermittent intervals, sometimes just a bit of sludge, other times a rumbling belch. Mud volcanoes never grow to the size of regular volcanoes. Most are small, ever-changing landforms, often accompanied by peculiar sculptures formed by the spewed out clumps of clay.
Mud volcanoes are associated with oilfields. Rich oil and gas fields are found in the territories of mud volcanoes. The dry heat leaves dry mud trails caked along the floor, in strange oozing patterns across the dusty ground. Volcanic clay is sometimes used in the treatment of skin conditions, as well as rheumatism and diseases related to the nervous system.