Pobiti Kamani (known as the ‘Stone Desert’ or the ‘Stone Forest’), is a beautiful desert-like rock formation located about 20 km from the city of Varna, and a few kilometers from the town of Beloslav, in Bulgaria.
It consists of more than 300 cylindrical limestone columns, about 6-7 m high and from 0.5 to 3 m thick and covering a total area of 13 km²
Interestingly, the columns do not have solid foundations, but are instead hollow and filled with sand, and look as if they were stuck into the surrounding sand. The unique habitat of the Pobiti Kamani, is suitable for certain desert plants, more than 110 species of rare birds and desert reptilians, which thrive there.
There are multiple theories that try to explain the Pobiti Kamani’s origin. It is estimated that some 50 million years ago, these lands were a part of seabed; later the region dried out and erosion began. Under the influence of internal forces of the Earth, limestone cracked and the rainfalls gradually dissolved the surface of these limestone rocks.
Another theory defends the view that the rock pillars were formed by underwater coral reefs. However, there is one problem; a comprehensive investigation indicates that there is no coral in the area and even no trace of it.
Many of the pillars have amazing shapes of human figures, birds and animals. One of the stone structures looks like a frozen fountain; another one resembles a stone lion with basis diameter of 12 meters is lying nearby. Many other formations look like thrones, guards, camels, mythical creatures and monsters.
Many years ago, a handsome young man lived near the Pobiti Kamani desert place. One day, God revealed his name to the young man, who promised never reveal this name and keep this secret forever. In return God gave him immortality.
God warned the man that if he breaks his promise he will become mortal again. One day, walking on the beach, the young man saw a beautiful girl and instantly fell in love with her. Soon afterwards he found out that the girl was supposed to marry the leader of the sea giants.
Love gave him the courage to face the Titans. The leader of the sea giants decided to cede his girl only if the boy told him the name of God. The boy decided to sacrifice his immortality in the name of love. He went to the sea at sunrise and arranged with the leader that the Titans could with the help of their bodies reveal the name of God.
God watched everything from above and decided to punish the Titans. With the first rays of the sun, they turned into stone and the young man found his beloved girl. According to the legend once the couple met underfoot a miraculous spring gushed.
The Pobiti Kamani – associated with many legends and myths – was once a sacral place but it was long time ago, in antiquity.