As the principal component of a geological and botanical reservation, they remain unique in Romania. Along with the unusual environmental conditions they create, they also form a remarkable landscape. Many compare it to a piece of the moon brought to earth.
Despite the starkness of the landscape, the area is a popular attraction for both local inhabitants and tourists. Some say this is actually due to that same starkness.
Berca Mud Volcanoes Origins
Despite their volcanic nature, the Berca Mud Volcanoes are so low in temperature that they are cool.
The pressurized natural gas pushes salty mud deposits to the surface. This begins at a point approximately 9,800 ft (3,000 m) beneath the surface. The natural gas that forms them subsequently escapes in a constant bubbling motion.
After surfacing, the mud quickly dries, forming the characteristic conical shapes. These cones average roughly 9.8 ft (3 m) in height.
Berca Mud Volcanoes Botanical Uniqueness
Despite the incredible starkness of the resulting environmental conditions around the Berca Mud Volcanoes, a few plant species have found a way to adapt. Life is resilient and adaptable.
Most vegetation cannot survive in the surrounding soil. That is because the Berca Mud Volcanoes deposit large quantities of both sulfur and salt as they erupt.
Over the roughly 66 acres (30 ha) encompassed by the Berca Mud Volcanoes, sparse patches of hardy vegetation have adapted to the conditions. These include Nitraria schoberi and Obione verrucifera (both small perennial shrubs). Some hardy plants for sure.