The volcano in Starunia


Starunia village, Bohorodchany district
GPS coordinates: 48.688524 24.487669

A unique natural monument was created as a result of human's economic activity. Earth wax deposits had been developed in and around Starunia village at the end of the 19th century. After the closure of the earth wax mines in the 1930s, several foreign companies had been drilling well bores, searching for oil. One of the largest discoveries was made due to this process. On October 5, 1907, during underground works, a naturally embalmed mammoth body was found in an underground mine at a depth of 12.5 m. A month later, a large fragment of an embalmed rhinoceros was found in the same mine at a depth of 17.6 m. In 1908, archeological findings were sent to the Museum named after Didushytski in Lviv. In 1929, due to additional studies that had been carried out, another embalmed hairy rhino, as well as the remains of other animals: primitive bull, horse, roe, and others had been found.

Most of the 1929 archeological findings are now stored at the Jagiellonian University Museum in Krakow.

As the result of oil and earth wax deposits development, groundwater had saturated with oxygen and had penetrated deep into the earth (for a thousand of meters) causing oxidation of oil. This process costed heat energy inflow that had led to volcanic activity.

First volcano had appeared in 1977 after an earthquake in the Vrancha Mountains in Romania and had reached a height of 3 m. The first craters had appeared afterwards, on a conical, 50 m in diameter, hill. Fluid, dirt and gas had erupted out of them. Since then, the volcano is "breathing" through dozens of less active mini-craters and now resembles to a mud spot in relief. Today, a volcano has a dozens of micro craters that release gas, water, clay pulp, sometimes oil or its constituents. Earth wax, hot mud, and high mineralization water on the territory of the Starunia volcano have valuable healing properties.

Geological monument of national significance