Ybykty Canyon

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Ybykty is a hidden treasure of Mangystau. This small canyon, several hundred meters long, is covered with a network of holes resembling bee honeycombs or porous chocolate. The upper parts are adorned with overhanging cornices, and in the deepest part of the narrow corridor, sunlight never reaches the bottom. Such an unusual place has an equally mysterious name - Ybykty.

Scientists believe this natural formation appeared about 60 million years ago, during the era of the Neotethys Ocean. These are the remnants of prehistoric coral reefs and other sea creatures that eventually surfaced and were exposed to the elements. The gorge itself was carved by the flow of a temporary river, which cut its winding channel into the rocks. Even now, during heavy rains, water flows continue to slowly erode the limestone bedrock.

A walk through the porous canyon of Ybykty will leave unforgettable impressions, comparable to the experience of visiting Antelope Canyon in the USA, each with its own unique beauty. However, those with trypophobia (fear of clusters of holes) might find Ybykty Canyon unsettling.

When exploring above the canyon, it is important to take precautions and avoid the edge of the cliffs. The ledges are narrow and composed of soft, fragile rock that can collapse under a person's weight.

Ybykty Canyon is located just 50 km from Aktau, but the highway detours, increasing the distance to 160 km (130 km on asphalt and the last 30 km on a hard dirt road). On the way to the canyon, you can also visit the underground mosque Karaman-ata, known for its intriguing decoration.