The other-worldly pools of Pamukkale By Erin Mae Dul
Deep within the Denizli Province of southwestern Turkey lies a breathtaking site revealing dozens of natural, water-filled terraces, known as Pamukkale, which means "cotton castle" in Turkish. At the site there are about 17 known hot springs ranging in temperature from 35 °C (95 °F) to 100 °C (212 °F). In the first two photos you can clearly see the blanket of stark white contrasting the cool turquoise pools, and from first glance it would seem to be snow. The white material is in fact limestone coating the mountains, whilst the terraces cradling the pools are made up of a form of limestone that was deposited by thermal waters called travertine.
For thousands of years people have used this location’s natural hot springs, bathing, resting, and taking in the peaceful surroundings. Sadly, all those interested in immersing themselves within the relaxing springs nowadays will be greatly disappointed because they’re now closed to the public for bathing, and are even protected by security guards keeping their eyes on any tourists drawn in by the natural beauty.
Michael Turtle, a world traveller and writer commented, "Other than a special swimming pool that has been constructed away from the cliffs, Pamukkale is generally to be seen but not touched these days." [x] Although the closure of personal access to these waters is disappointing to eager travelers, this news is sure to please any true admirer of such notable natural phenomenon like Pamukkale. By protecting, and consequently preserving this site, it’s being kept from any sort of destruction and/or permanent damage due to humanity’s general lack of respect for such natural wonders, and more importantly is being saved for future generations to enjoy.