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What the Heck is This?!

(Photo courtesy of TravelBlog.org) By Kimberly Reyes (@CommDuCoeur) Go ahead, take a guess.

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(Photo courtesy of TravelBlog.org)

By Kimberly Reyes (@CommDuCoeur)

Go ahead, take a guess.

I’ll give you a minute.

Take a good look at this photo.

Give up?

The photo above shows tourists at the Volcan de Lodo el Totumo, about 31 miles northeast of Cartagena, Colombia. As you can probably infer from its name, El Totumo is indeed a volcano…but not just any volcano. Instead of lava, El Totumo spurts out mud! El Totumo is a small, 50-foot mound that has attracted natives and visitors alike, who often enjoy the therapeutic benefits of bathing in the volcanic mud.

Here’s how a local legend describes this natural phenomenon: when the volcano used to expel molten rock, a priest mistook it as the work of the Devil. In an attempt to exorcise the volcano, the priest baptized it with holy water , extinguising the “fire,” and turning all the ash into mud.

For your reading pleasure, I’ve gathered some blog posts from people who have visited the Volcan de Lodo el Totumo in their travels:

http://bubbler.wordpress.com/2007/12/29/el-volcan-de-lodo-el-totumo
http://nedavanovac.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/pigs-in-mud-in-colombia-volcan-el-lodo-del-totumo
http://www.raisingmiro.com/2011/01/17/bathing-in-mud-oink-oink

What was the most unusual experience you’ve had while touring another country? Send us your stories, photos, and videos!

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