In the 13th century, Marco Polo described present-day Azerbaijan as a "land of fire" - and for good reason: there are burning mountainsides with fires that didn't stop burning for thousands of years.
Maureen O'Hare of CNN Travel has the strange story of the eternal flame of Yanar Dag:
"This fire has burned 4,000 years and never stopped," says Aliyeva Rahila. "Even the rain coming here, snow, wind -- it never stops burning."
Ahead, tall flames dance restlessly across a 10-meter stretch of hillside, making a hot day even hotter.
This is Yanar Dag -- meaning "burning mountainside" -- on Azerbaijan's Absheron Peninsula, where Rahila works as a tour guide.
Read the rest over at CNN Travel.
(Photo: Maureen O'Hare/CNN)