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Chimaera EarthCache

Hidden : 01/03/2011
2 out of 5
3 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Chimaera - The Ethernal Flames of Yanartas


This Earthcache will lead you to an unique geological feature in Lycia / Turkey:

a real "burning mountain" - the ethernal flames of Yanartas!

A myth tells that the flames are still the breath of nearby buried Chimaera, a monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a snake, snorting out the breath of bright fire, which has been killed near this location by an ancient hero called Bellerophon or Bellerophontes some thousand years ago...

Chimaera 1


Geology of the Taurus Mountains

Mountain range in southern Turkey, running parallel to the Mediterranean Sea. It is defined to two main parts, the western called Bati, the eastern Orta.
The Bati begins in the region corresponding to ancient Lycia, west of Antalya and melts into the Orta, in the section known as Geyik (about 150 km east of Antalya). The Orta continues eastwards to the Euphrates River, from where the Güneydogu Mountains are defined to begin.
The Demirkazik Mountain in the east, is the highest mountain at 3,756 metres, neighboured by two more mountain tops over 3,700 metres, in a region known as Aladaglar. The highest mountain in the western parts is the Kislar Sevrisi at 3,083 metres.
The mountains are of limestone, much of it white limestone. The mountains are between heavily and scattered forested, trees being pine, cedar, oak and juniper. The tree limit is about 2,000 to 2,500 metres. The mountains have several lakes, although many of these are seasonal or dried out.
The mountains reach all the way out to the ocean, leaving only a narrow strip of flatland in regions.
The western Taurus served in ancient times as a natural fortress for Lycia, allowing the development of high-culture and rich trading cities.
The region is fairly thinly populated, but has excellent road infrastructure. The main cities are Antalya (600,000), Isparta (150,000), Eregli (90,000),Fethiye (60,000) and Silifke (60,000, all figures 2004 estimates).
The main activities of the region are agriculture, small-scale industries and tourism. Mineral deposits include silver, copper, lignite, zinc, iron and arsenic.


Akdeniz Toros Daglari ,Türkiye'nin Akdeniz kiyilarina paralel olarak, Rodos Adasi'ndan Suriye sinirina kadar yaklasik 2.000 kilometrelik bir dag zincirinden olusmaktadir. Bu zincirin en yüksek noktasi 3767 metrelik Kizilkaya zirvesidir. Toros Daglari bir siradag çesididir. Toroslarin bu bölgesi Aldaglar adiyla anilmaktadir.

Antalya'dan Suriye'ye kadar uzanan bir dagdir. Dagin Seydisehir ilçesi yakinlarinda boksit çikarilmaktadir. Toroslar bati, orta ve dogu toroslar olarak 3'e ayrilir.

Chimaera 2

The Facts about Yanartas

Yanartas, proposed as the ancient Mount Chimaera, is the name of a geographical feature near Olympos valley and  national park in Antalya Province in southwestern Turkey, in the Taurus Mountains, at a distance of about eighty kilometers to the southwest from the city of  Antalya, near the town of Çirali.

It is characterized by a permanent fire caused by emissions of a gas mixture and the area is located on a track popular with hikers and trekkers on the Lycian Way.

Called in Turkish Yanartas (flaming rock), the spot consists of various vents in the ground formed of limestone, grouped in two patches on the hillside above the ruins of the Temple of Hephaistos, about three kilometers north of the village of Çirali, near ancient Olympos, in Lycia. The vents emit gas which is thought to be of metamorphic origin. In ancient times sailors could navigate by the flames, but today they are more often used to brew tea or grill sausages. Because of their reduced size the flames are of little use for navigation nowadays.

The analysis of the gas mixture emitted by the vents shows a high rate of methane and also high rates of oxygen and nitrogen. The probability that the gases have an organic source is, looking at the carbon isotope values, about 20 to 90 %, the probability of having a vulcanic source is about 25 %. The feature is not comparible with a coal fire like the one in Centralia, Pennsylvania (U.S.). Nevertheless it's not completely researched until now. 


Yanartas, Amtalya'nin Kemer ilçesi Çirali köyü yakinlarinda küçük, tarihi ve turistik önemi olan dogalgaz kaynagi. Denize yakin manzarali bir konumda yer alir, taslar arasindan çikan alevler turistlerin ilgisini çekmektedir.

Çirali plajinin kuzeyindeki kayaliklarda yer alan dogalgaz kaynagi, eski Yunan mitolojisi'ne konu olmustur. Mitolojiye göre, kanatli at Pegasus'un sirtindaki Bellerophontes, ates soluyan canavar Kimera'yi (Khimaira) burada öldürür. Hâlâ yanmakta olan atesin öldürülen canavarin agzindan çikan alevler oldugu söylenegelmistir. Bizansli demirciler tarafindan kutsal sayilan bu bölgede insa edilen tapinagin kalintilari Yanartas'in yaninda yer alir. Bazi tarihçilere göre Olympiyat Atesi ilk kez bu noktadan getirilmistir. Yaz kis yanan bu atesin asli yeralti kaynaklarindan disari sizan dogal metan gazidir.


Chimaera 3

 The Myth of the Chimaera

Bellerophon's brave journey began in the familiar way, with an exile: he had murdered either his brother, whose name is usually given as Deliades, or killed a shadowy "enemy", a "Belleros", and in expiation of his crime arrived as a suppliant to Proetus, king of Tyrins. Proetus, by virtue of his kingship, cleansed Bellerophon of his crime. The wife of the king took a fancy to him, but when he rejected her, she accused Bellerophon of attempting to ravish her. Proetus dared not satisfy his anger by killing a guest, so he sent Bellerophon to King Iobates, his father-in-law, in the plain of the River Xanthus in Lycia, bearing a sealed message in a folded tablet: "Pray remove the bearer from this world: he attempted to violate my wife, your daughter." On reading the tablet's message Iobates, too feared the wrath of the Erinyes if he murdered a guest, sent Bellerophon on a mission that seemed impossible: to kill the fire-breathing monster Chimaera, living in neighboring Caria. The Chimaera was a fire-breathing monster whose make-up comprised the body of a goat, the head of a lion and the tail being a serpent. This monster had terrorized the nearby countryside.

The Lycian seer Poleyeidos told Bellerophon he would have need of the winged horse Pegasus for this mission. To obtain the services of the untamed winged horse, Bellerophon went to the temple of Athene. Some accounts say that Athena brought Pegasus already tamed and bridled, or that Poseidon, the horse-tamer, secretly the father of Bellerophon, brought Pegasus. Bellerophon mounted his steed and flew off to where the Chimera was said to dwell.

When he arrived in Lycia, the Chimaera was truly ferocious, and he could not harm the monster even while riding on Pegasus. He felt the heat of the breath the Chimaera expelled, and was struck with an idea. He got a large block of lead and mounted it on his spear. Then he flew head-on towards the Chimaera, holding out the spear as far as he could. Before he broke off his attack, he managed to lodge the block of lead inside the Chimaera's throat. The beast's fire-breath melted the lead, and blocked its air passage. The Chimaera suffocated, and Bellerophon returned victorious to King Iobates.

Access to the location:

There is a public parking place near
N 36° 25.767 E 030° 27.886. If you choose this way to the location you have to pay a small entrance fee. From all other sides in principle public access is free.

Your task to log this Earthcache:

Visit the place and send me a message (in English or German, please!) via my account with the following answers:

1.) Give me  a short description (with your own words), how the limestone cavities have been formed by the flames!

2.) How many burning flames did you count at the location?

3.) Tell me the percentage of methane gas in the gas mixture emitted by the vents! (You can find this information at the information table near the entrance)

4.) (optional) If you like, you are warmly invited to add a photo of yourself with your GPS near the header coordinates to your log entry!

Please, dont't wait for an answer with log permission! Just log your visit after you've sent me the answers - I'll only contact you if there's something wrong!

Senin bu earthcache kaydetmek is:

Yeri ziyaret et ve bana benim sonraki yanitlarla hesabimla bir message (Ingilizce veya Almanca, memnun et!) gönder:

1.) Bana senin kendi kelimelerinle kisa bir tanimlama ver alevler tarafindan kireç tasi oyuklari oldu olustu!

2.) Sen ne kadar yanan alev yerde saydin?

3.) Kiçlar tarafindan gaz karisiminin içindeki methane gazi oraninin yayildigini bana söyle! (Sen bu girisin yanindaki bilgi masasindaki bilgiyi bulamaz)

4.) (Seçmeli) sen sevir sen bir kendin fotosu eklemeye samimiyetle davet edil senin GPS senin kütük girisine sayfa basligi koordinatlarini yaklas!

Lütfen, yap degil bir yanit bekle kütük izini! Sen bana yanitlar gönderdikten sonra senin ziyaretini kaydet - Ben istek senle sadece baglanti kurmayacak orada yanlis birsey! 


It's highly recommended to visit this earthcache in combination with the traditional caches  GC2A0JZ & GCM7XP nearby!

Enjoy the location and this unique feature - happy caching!


Additional Hints (No hints available.)