Trivia

Hard

What Odd Treatment Are Spas In The Former Soviet State of Azerbaijan Famous For?

Ground Glass Smoothies
Crude Oil Baths
Flesh Eating Fish
High Voltage Electric Shocks
Two women soaking in tubs of crude oil.
Chinar Hotel & Spa, Naftalan (Wayback Machine)

Answer: Crude Oil Baths

Once among the hottest vacation spots in the Soviet Union, the spas of Azerbaijan are a curious place. While a trip to most spas might find you soaking in hot water, perhaps wrapped in seaweed, and potentially dunked in mud, the spas found in Naftalan, in the central region of Azerbaijan, specialize in dunking their visitors in bathtubs full of crude oil.

Yes, that kind of crude oil—unrefined oil pumped up from the depths of oil fields in the region. The tradition goes back centuries (records of crude oil seeping to the surface date back to the 13th century and locals have been finding creative uses for it ever since) and is considered a useful luxury hailed as a cure for everything from psoriasis to aching joints.

While some of the health claims associated with the treatment are certainly dubious, some have a fair grounding in science. Dermatologists, for example, do in fact prescribe special soap with naphthalene in it to help with psoriasis and the crude oil in the region has a very high concentration of that very compound (around 50 percent).

Speaking of the composition of the oil found in Naftalan; it might be crude oil through and through, but its particularly dense composition makes it poorly suited for refinement and it has little commercial value. Little commercial value that is, beyond being pumped by the barrelful into the local spas.

Trivia

Hard

Switzerland Has A Political Party Dedicated To The Elimination Of What?

Trivia

Hard

The Border With The Most Frequent Legal Crossings Per Year Is Between?

Trivia

Hard

Which Game Console Was The First To Have Downloadable Content?

Trivia

Hard

The Racquet Sport With The Fastest Projectile Is?

Trivia

Easy

Which City’s Full Name Is The Longest On Earth?

Trivia

Hard

The First Commercial Filmed In Space Pitched What Product?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Domesticated Animals Can Safely Drink Sea Water?

Trivia

Hard

Which Sci-Fi Star Was Granted The Honorary Rank Of Air Force Brigadier General?

Trivia

Easy

What Operating System Was Projected, But Failed, To Replace MS-DOS?

Trivia

Hard

What Are The Most Influential Sci-Fi Writers Of The 20th Century Called?