mud volcano off Taman peninsula
© Bogdan Cristel / Reuters
An abandoned autumn beach looking out on the Sea of Azov became a popular sightseeing attraction over the weekend, after mother nature created an incredible mud volcano, which formed a wide, flat island just a few dozen meters away from the shore.

Spewing a slurry made of water and gases mixed with sand and dirt, the mud volcano shot several meters into the air as it started forming an artificial island on Sunday, just off the coast of the Taman Peninsula.

The act of nature was recorded by local beach strollers who witnessed the mud volcano, most typically formed after hot water below the earth's surface begins to blend with mineral deposits, pushing the mixture to the surface. But unlike an actual volcano, the muddy imitation produces no lava.

In fact some mud volcanoes are used as popular, therapeutic "mud baths," and are often found in Russia's Krasnodar region. Dozens of mud volcanoes can be found on the Taman Peninsula of Russia and the Kerch Peninsula of southeastern Ukraine.

Local geologists warn that mud volcanoes overall can cause injuries or material damage if the eruption involves spewing out large pieces of clay or other debris. Luckily enough, geologists say that for the last 50 years, mud volcanoes, which have formed in the Azov Sea, have remained harmless.

Overall about 30 similar mud volcano have been found in the Temryuk district of the Krasnodar region. Locals and tourists use the earth's mud for its healing properties to treat nervous system disorders, arthritis, sciatica, and pyelonephritis.