Urumiye: City of Exploding Worms    

Interesting rock carvings

We drove to Urumiye, the capital of Iran's West Azerbaijan across a large lake from Tabriz which is the capital of the East Azerbaijan, to visit an aunt and uncle of Rowshan's.

On the way, I noticed an interesting rock carving in the hills and insisted. R's father stopped the car and Rowshan and I walked over to a rocky hill. There was an old looking carving of Persian horsemen.

After lunch, Rowshan's cousin drove us down to the river. He told us how Urumiye was the town's 3rd name. The second, Rezaiye, after a Shah had been changed after the revolution. The first was Chichest. The current name, Urumiye, is named for worms that live in the lake. The worms change size depending on the salinity. When the salinity is low, the worms shrink. When it is high, they swell up until they explode. Now the salinity is so high, the worms are dying out (images of thousands of exploding worms). Aside from the usual ecological consequences such as the animals who feed on them not having food and any other roles they play in the environment being effected, researchers had also been studying them as a possible cure for cancer.

Salt deposits on the bank of the lake

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