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Pamukkale - Our Planet
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Pamukkale, literally meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. Located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year, Pamukkale contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. The water that flows from 17 subterranean hot springs into the pools has an extremely high concentration of calcium carbonate, which forms soft deposits when it hits the surface. Those viscous white deposits harden over time until the springs resemble a fountain made of chalk or, as indicated by the translation of Pamukkale, a "cotton castle" visible from more than 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) away. Pamukkale's terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water from the hot springs. The ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2,700 meters (8,860 ft) long, 600 m (1,970 ft) wide and 160 m (525 ft) high.