Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka, Russia

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The Valley of Geysers, located in the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia is the only geyser field in Eurasia and the second largest concentration of geysers in the world. Approximately 200 geysers exist in the area along with many hot-water springs and perpetual spouters. The valley is one of the few places in the world where geysers occur naturally, along with Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. and sites in Iceland, Chile, and New Zealand. In Kamchatka more than 20 large jets and 200 smaller thermal springs punch through Earth's crust in a 2.7-square-mile (7-square-kilometer) area.

Over thirty geysers have been named; among these was the Giant geyser (Velikan), capable of producing a jet of water reaching up to 40 meters. At least 20 such geysers erupt on a stretch of the Geysernaya River Basin in the Valley of Geysers, along with dozens of smaller gushing vents and hundreds of hot springs. The largest of these geysers erupts with 60 tons of water once or twice a year.

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The geysers of Kamchatka were discovered by a local scientist, Tatyana Ustinova, in 1941. She published her findings fourteen years later, but there was little exploration of the area until 1972. Since the 1980s, it became a renowned tourist attraction in Kamchatka. In 2008 the Valley of Geysers was elected as one of the seven wonders of Russia. Because of its remote location and reserve status, only a few thousand people visit the Valley every year

On June 3, 2007, a massive mudflow inundated two thirds of the valley burying a number of geysers, thermal pools, and waterfalls. One of the world's hottest spots almost disappeared in a blink of an eye. Nevertheless, the Valley is still alive and attracts a lot of interest from scientists and tourists.

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Sources: 1, 2, 3

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